Amos Diggory: Bona Fide Jerk
Here we are in Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8, and you know what? Amos Diggory is being a jerk.
I know, I know. No one wants to kick the guy who loses his only son (I’m assuming Cedric doesn’t have any supernaturally nice, perfectly coiffed siblings – correct me if I’m wrong). But with a dad like Amos, you have to wonder where Cedric got his charm. Mrs. Diggory must have the people skills of a seasoned diplomat.
Amos is at best, irksome. At worst, infuriating. We’ll come to find later in the book that he has a tendency to say things akin to “My son is gonna whoop your derriere” whenever Harry is around. I can sort of forgive that faux pas. He’s a proud father and his son is representing Hogwarts in the Triwizard Tournament. Amos’ adoration for his boy is almost endearing (“That’s my son! That’s my boy! It’s my boy!” – did I just make you sad?)
What gets to me about Amos is how he treats Winky. I’m not about to join Hermione’s S.P.E.W. campaign (she goes a little off the deep end with that one), but as an employee of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, you’d think he’d have a bit more sympathy for an elf.
Or maybe not! Maybe years of keeping Beasts, Spirits, Goblins, Centaurs, and other magical non-humans at bay has hardened him. Have one too many run-ins with an angry Centaur and you’re bound to lose some of your compassion.
Still, Amos’ cruelty to Winky brings up the whole House-Elves issue in the Harry Potter universe. I don’t really want to go there now because it takes away from my Amos Diggory whining, but it’s pretty atrocious how elves are treated by mostly everyone.
That doesn’t excuse Amos, of course. I just recognize that blaming an elf for something a wizard did is nothing new. There’s no logic to Amos’ accusations – Winky wouldn’t know how to cast the Dark Mark even if she wanted to – just as there’s no logic to Barty Crouch firing her (or rather “giving her clothes”).
What do you think? Is Amos a jerk? Do you understand where he’s coming from? Does it bug you that he’s far more likable in the film than he is in the book?
I know I’m moving a little slower these days with the re-read, but remember to read along. We’re into Chapter 9 next!