In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, fans got to see the start of the Quidditch World Cup Final between the Viktor Krum-led Bulgarian national team as they went up against the Irish. As established in the film, Krum is labeled as “the best Seeker in the world,” making this a must-watch event for the wizarding world.
In quidditch, the Seeker pursues the Golden Snitch and, if caught, ensures that their team is awarded 150 points and effectively ends the game.
During the final, the Bulgarians found themselves down by 170-10 against Ireland. At this stage of the match, even with the rules being what they are, Viktor still pursued the snitch and managed to capture it.
So, why did he catch the snitch?
Why did Viktor Krum catch the Golden Snitch?
In sports, there are dignified defeats and there are total blowouts. No one likes to see a team they root for, or play for, lose so badly and even less so in a championship game.
A player as knowledgeable and skilled as Viktor would not pursue the snitch at that point in the match unless he had a very good reason. The Bulgarians were being routed and the Irish Seeker had begun to make a play for the snitch himself.
Now, Viktor had two choices: risk the game ending with a 320-10 final score in an embarrassing defeat, or go for the snitch himself and lose with a much more dignified score of 170-160. For him, the choice was clear.
Viktor would in fact manage to capture the snitch and make the inevitable loss to Ireland much more palatable, not only to himself and the team, but for the fans as well. The Irish, however, would’ve loved to have seen 320-10 as the final tally.
Was there another way Bulgaria could have won?
Bulgaria could’ve tried to extend the match as long as they could, keeping the Seeker away from the snitch and try to change their defensive game plan, which clearly wasn’t working up until that point.
However, that would’ve unnecessarily extended the match and Bulgaria up to that point could not stop the offensive onslaught from the Irish.
So, the decision to catch the snitch was not only the easiest one in terms of ability for Viktor, it was also the most logical given the circumstances. For anyone who has been to baseball games, especially, there’s nothing more annoying than extra innings.
Imagine that, but trying to come back from a 160 point hole. The match could’ve gone on for days had they tried to narrow the deficit, not even being able to ensure that the Irish wouldn’t continue to run up the score.
Unfortunately, this was a no-win scenario. Call it the Harry Potter equivalent to Star Trek’s Kobayashi Maru test.
Regardless, the Quidditch World Cup Final ended with a very respectable final score of 170-160 and the Irish emerging victorious. Luckily for Viktor, he still managed to make it to the Triwizard Tournament and survive, which was no easy feat as we would later find out.