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Cornelius Fudge Character Analysis: Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

Cornelius Fudge Character Analysis: Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

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Cornelius Oswald Fudge is a British wizard who served as Minister for Magic from 1990 to 1996. He was principally responsible for the Ministry’s denial of the return of Lord Voldemort for about a year following the Triwizard Tournament. Instead, he tried to discredit both Harry and Dumbledore, suspecting the latter of trying to steal his office.

About Cornelius Fudge

BornPre-1964
Blood StatusPure-Blood or Half-Blood
OccupationMinister for Magic
PatronusUnknown
HouseUnknown
WandUnknown
Zodiac SignLibra (speculative)

Cornelius Fudge Early Life

Cornelius Fudge is a British wizard who must have been born sometime before 1964, and probably significantly earlier. Like most British wizards, he would have attended Hogwarts for his magical education.

After school, Fudge worked for the Ministry. By 1981 he was the junior minister of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. As a result, he was one of the first people on site after the attack on the home of the Potters in Godric’s Hollow. He was also first on the scene where Sirius Black apparently killed Peter Pettigrew and muggle bystanders.

We only learn later that Sirius was tracking down Peter because he had betrayed the Potters. Peter, an Animagus, turned himself into a rat and cast a blasting spell that killed the muggles to fake his own death. Nevertheless, Fudge saw Sirius laughing in a crazy fashion. Like most wizards, he assumed that Sirius was the one who betrayed the Potters, and then killed their friend Peter.

Fudge as Minister for Magic

When Millicent Bagnold stepped down as Minister for Magic in 1990, Albus Dumbledore was the top candidate to succeed her, but he turned down the role. After him, Barty Crouch Jnr was a popular candidate. But Crouch’s harsh treatment of suspected Death Eaters, including sending his own son to Azkaban, cost him much popularity.

Fudge went on to win the post but was aware how close the election was. He became suspicious of Crouch. Fudge was also careful to always be seen consulting Dumbledore, to gain some of his popularity.

As the Minister for Magic, Fudge was responsible for meeting with the muggle prime minister and keeping him informed about the wizarding world.

Fudge was initially a nervous minister and would send owls to Dumbledore every day asking for advice. But his confidence grew, and sometime before 1995, he awarded himself the Order of Merlin, First Class. There was much muttering in the wizarding community about this move.

When the Chamber of Secrets was opened, Cornelius Fudge arrested Rubeus Hagrid. The game keeper was previously suspected of opening the chamber when he was at school. Dumbledore tried to convince Fudge that this was a mistake. But Fudge insisted that it was his duty to take Hagrid to Azkaban.

At the same time, Lucius Malfoy, as school governor, had Dumbledore suspended. Fudge tried to protest against this, but to no avail. Nevertheless, eventually, both Dumbledore and Hagrid were able to return to the school.

Fudge and the Escape of Sirius Black

When Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban, Fudge was very concerned to recapture him quickly. He had seen Sirius when he was in a hysterical state after the death of the Potters, and he feared that Sirius was after Harry. Sirius was heard to say “he’s at Hogwarts” in his cell. Of course, we now know he was talking about the Animagus Peter Pettigrew.

At around the same time as the escape, Harry ran away from home after blowing up his Aunt Marge. Fudge intercepted him at the Leaky Cauldron and dealt with him kindly, saying that it was an honest mistake. He then set Harry up at the Leaky Cauldron for the rest of the summer where the Ministry could keep an eye on him.

Well, Harry, you’ve had us all in a right flap, I don’t mind telling you. Running away from your aunt and uncle’s house like that! I started to think… but you’re safe, and that’s what matters.

Cornelius Fudge, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Fudge and the Dementors

Fudge later posted Dementors around Hogwarts in the hope that they would protect the students and catch Sirius Black. This turned out to a mistake as the Dementors infiltrated the school during a Quidditch match, drawn by the gathering of so many people.

He kept a close eye on the school throughout the year. On one occasion, he met some of the teachers at the Three Broomsticks for a drink. There they discussed the fact that Sirius Black was suspected of betraying Harry’s parents to Lord Voldemort. Harry, Ron, and Hermione overhead the conversation.

During the same year, Fudge also had to visit Hogwarts for the case of Buckbeak. Draco Malfoy accused the animal of attacking him after he had provoked it during a Care of Magical Creatures class. Buckbeak was sentenced to death. Fortunately, Harry and Hermione were able to whisk Buckbeak away using a time turner.

On that same night, Sirius Black was apprehended at Hogwarts by Severus Snape. So, Fudge was onsite and immediately organized for the Dementors to administer their kiss to Sirius. But Black, who had revealed the truth about Pettigrew to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Remus Lupin, escaped on Buckbeak.

Fudge, fortunately, thought Harry could not have been involved and left to inform the Ministry of what had happened.

Fudge and the Quidditch World Cup

During his time as Minister, Fudge was fortunate enough to see England host the Quidditch World Cup. But the English team did not make the final which was between Ireland and Bulgaria.

Fudge greeted Harry, who attended with the Weasleys in a very friendly manner. They sat near him, the Bulgarian Minister for Magic, and the Malfoys. Fudge was communicating with the Bulgarian Minister through sign language, only to discover later that he spoke excellent English.

Fudge and the Triwizard Tournament

Following this, Fudge also had the prestige of seeing Hogwarts host the first Triwizard Tournament in over a century. He was called upon to perform several of the ceremonial tasks, and so was often at Hogwarts.

Fudge was summoned to Hogwarts when Barty Crouch Snr, who was had been behaving strangely, was discovered on the grounds. When he could not be found, Fudge wanted to dismiss the situation as nothing of importance. When challenged, he even claimed that Madam Maxime, the visiting Headmaster from Beauxbatons, had killed him, sighting that she was a half-giant. But mostly he wanted to ignore the situation.

You are blinded by the love of your office, Cornelius! You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Fudge and Lord Voldemort’s Return

Fudge was standing in for Barty Crouch Snr as a judge in the final Triwizard event. So, he was on site when Harry returned with Cedric Diggory’s dead body and the news that Lord Voldemort had restored his body. He was also there to learn that Barty Crouch Jnr had been masquerading as Alastor Moody and that he had been the one who entered Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire.

Fudge felt that Barty Crouch Jnr posed a threat to his personal safety. He called on the Dementors to administer their kiss to him. This means that Crouch Jnr was unable to confirm the story that Dumbledore and Harry were telling.

Fudge, not wanting to believe that this horror could be possible, went into denial. Instead, he claimed that Harry was suffering from mental health issues due to his scar. He said that Crouch Jnr was a lone mad-man responsible for everything that had happened. He also claimed that Dumbledore was pushing this story to destabilize his government.

Harry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had always thought of Fudge as a kindly figure, a little blustering, a little pompous, but essentially good-natured. But now a short, angry wizard stood before him refusing, point-blank, to accept the prospect of disruption in his comfortable and ordered world – to believe that Voldemort could have risen.

Harry Potter and the Gobelt of Fire

Fudge Tries to Discredit Dumbledore

While Dumbledore was trying to convince people that Lord Voldemort was back, Fudge started a campaign to convince the wizarding world that both Harry and Dumbledore were at best mad, and at worst, up to something more sinister.

He seems to have assumed that Dumbledore was doing this to create panic and take the Minister of Magic job for himself. As such, he dismissed anyone who aligned themselves with Dumbledore from the Ministry of Magic.

When Harry needed to cast a Patronus charm in front of his cousin Dudley to fight two Dementors, Fudge claimed that this was another lie and called a tribunal to try and have Harry expelled from Hogwarts for underage magic. He tried to refuse to hear evidence and point to Harry’s previous actions, which were not relevant to the trial. Fortunately, Dumbledore, and the magistrate Mrs Bones, were able to prevent this.

Fudge at Harry's Trial
Cornelius Fudge at Harry’s Trial

Fudge and Dolores Umbridge

Fudge tried to learn more about what Dumbledore was up to by sending Dolores Umbridge to Hogwarts as his representative. She was both Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher, and High Commissioner.

As a teacher, she refused to let the students conduct magic to prevent them from becoming trained as an army for Dumbledore. This actually led a group of students to create a group of students, led by Harry and Hermione, called Dumbledore’s Army, or the DA for short, to learn defensive magic themselves.

As High Commissioner, she evaluated the teachers and passed various decrees to take control of the school. For example, she banned student gatherings, and after Harry’s article came out in The Quibbler, banned the publication and teachers from talking about anything but their specific subject.

When the DA was discovered, Fudge arrived at the school to use this opportunity to finally discredit the pair. Dumbledore saved Harry by taking responsibility for the group, and pretending to confirm Fudge’s fear that he was indeed creating his own army at Hogwarts.

Dumbledore left the school, easily overcoming Fudge, Umbridge, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and John Dawlish, and Fudge made Umbridge Headmistress of Hogwarts.

Fudge remained completely blind to the reality of the situation. He continued to trust Death Eaters such as Lucius Malfoy, and claimed that Sirius Black was behind the mass outbreak from Azkaban in 1996.

Cornelius Fudge with Umbridge and Aurors
Fudge challenging Dumbledore at Hogwarts

Fudge and Voldemort Revealed

Fudge was finally forced to admit that Lord Voldemort was back when he, and several other members of the Ministry, saw him with their own eyes in the Ministry of Magic.

Lord Voldemort had lured Harry to the Department Mysteries within the Ministry of Magic to retrieve the prophecy about the two of them. He sent a group of Death Eaters to intercept the prophecy, but also arrived himself. He battled with Dumbledore in the Main Atrium of the Ministry. The final moments of this battle were witnessed by Fudge and others.

Since Fudge had worked so hard to discredit Dumbledore and deny Lord Voldemort’s return, it is no surprise that the wizarding community demanded his removal from office. He was blamed by many for letting Lord Voldemort and his supporters get a foothold by not acting sooner.

He did try to save his own skin. He asked Dumbledore to organize a meeting with Harry to persuade him to tell the wizarding world that the Ministry was doing a good job. Obviously, this request was denied.

Lord Voldemort also demanded that Fudge stand down. He said that if he did not, he would commit a mass muggle murder. When Fudge refused, Voldemort caused the collapse of Brockdale Bridge.

Fudge was dismissed and replaced by Rufus Scrimgeour. He actually kept Fudge on as his liaison to the muggle prime minister, as he did not have time for the task himself.

It is unclear what happened to Fudge after that. He is unlikely to have cooperated with the Death Eater regime. Fudge may have gone into hiding, been killed, or been sent to Azkaban.

Fudge witnesses Voldemort in the Ministry for Magic

Cornelius Fudge Personality Type & Traits

Cornelius Fudge initially seems like a good-natured bureaucrat who has gotten in over his head as Minister of Magic. But he seems to have developed a love for the power and prestige of his office. He became suspicious and covetous in protecting it.

His smear campaign against Dumbledore and Harry shows incredible ruthlessness. He refused to accept the evidence for the return of Lord Voldemort. This was close-minded and self-serving.

Cornelius Fudge Zodiac Sign & Birthday

We do not know when Cornelius Fudge was born, but he must have been born pre-1964 to have been Minister of Magic in 1990. Some fans suggest his zodiac sign might be Libra. People born under this sign are very intelligent, but also concerned with social position and prestige.

Fudge must have had some intelligence to rise to the level of Minister for Magic. But he was unable to see the evidence for Lord Voldemort’s return. He could not see the machinations behind the scenes of Dolores Umbridge.

Fudge became obsessed with political power and prestige. People born under Libra often desire to be recognized and well-liked.