Madam Hooch

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Character
Name: Madam Hooch
Occupation: Flying instructor and Quidditch referee at Hogwarts
Title/Rank: Madam; Hogwarts house unknown
Location: Hogwarts, Britain
Status: alive; unknown blood status
Relationships: unknown
Fandom: Harry Potter
Other: portrayed by Zoë Wanamaker in the PS/SS film
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Madam Hooch is a minor character from the Harry Potter series. She is the Hogwarts flying instructor and the referee of most Hogwarts Quidditch matches.

Her canonical full name is generally—but not universally—accepted to be Rolanda Hooch. There is still a vocal segment of fans who do not accept Rolanda to be Hooch's canonical given name; many of these fans prefer the alternative name Xiomara Hooch (see §Rolanda vs. Xiomara).

In Canon

Madam Hooch was introduced as the flying instructor for the first year students in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

During this first appearance, Hooch was described as having yellow, hawk-like eyes; this unique characteristic helped distinguish her from many other minor characters and make her more interesting to readers. Her yellow eyes led to several fan theories, none of which played out in canon.

Hooch has regular appearances throughout the first three books and referees nearly all of Hogwarts's Quidditch games. However, her part grew smaller in later books, and she does not appear in Goblet of Fire or Deathly Hallows at all. Some came up with theories or headcanons for her absence in DH, such as the idea that Hooch was Muggle-born and therefore had to go into hiding.

Other intriguing details were mentioned in canon that didn't end up going anywhere: For example, Professor McGonagall implies that Hooch has some knowledge of broom charms and/or curses that would affect them. McGonagall apparently trusted both Madam Hooch's allegiance and her competence to suggest she be the one to supervise Harry's Quidditch practices when everyone believed that Sirius Black was out to kill him in Prisoner of Azkaban. There is no other canon info about what she did before becoming a teacher at Hogwarts, what she does outside of her work at Hogwarts, whether she was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, etc.

Rolanda vs. Xiomara

The name Xiomara first appeared on IMDb prior to the first film's release,[1] while Rolanda appeared in the Wizards of the Coast Harry Potter Trading Card Game.[2] Both names surfaced roughly around the same time in late 2001, and, as it was unclear whether either name came from J.K. Rowling herself, many fans considered neither to be canonical, or both to be "semi-canonical". It thus was—and generally still is—considered acceptable (and not AU) to use either name or another, entirely invented name in fanworks.[3][4]

The name "Xiomara" was removed from IMDb not long after it was posted, and did not appear on the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone film credits. Some postulate that the "new" names that appeared on the site, including "Xiomara", were user submissions and thus not canon at all.[5] The PS/SS film credits (the only one Hooch appears in) lists her only as "Madame [sic][6] Hooch".

As of 2016, Rowling herself has still not publicly confirmed Hooch's first name, but the Harry Potter Trading Card Game has proven to be the more canonical of the two sources.[7] For example, Professor Quirrell's given name was in the very same situation until writing by Rowling on Pottermore confirmed it to be the name on the Harry Potter TCG, not the one on the IMDb cast list.[8] Likewise, the name Pomona for Professor Sprout was also first given in the TCG and later confirmed canon by its appearance in Half-Blood Prince.[9] "Rolanda" is now also used on the real-life collectable chocolate frog cards[10] and in some LEGO Harry Potter material.[11] For these reasons, the majority of fans have accepted "Rolanda" to be Hooch's canonical name.

The name "Rolanda" has been used on the rebooted Pottermore, but not in content written by J.K. Rowling.[12]

Some fans have adopted the name Rolanda Xiomara Hooch or Xiomara Rolanda Hooch as a compromise. One example of this is pauraque's story The Two Names of Xiomara Rolanda Hooch, published in May 2012.

Shipping

The majority of shipping involving Madam Hooch is femslash. Hooch/McGonagall is by far her most popular pairing.

Hooch is often portrayed as a lesbian, possibly playing into the stereotype about female gym teachers. Other femslash ships featuring Madam Hooch include Madam Hooch/Madam Rosmerta. She is also shipped in numerous rarepairs involving other female characters. The ubiquity of Hooch femslash (and possibly McGonagall/Hooch in particular) even inspired the name of the femslash site Madam Hooch's Broom Closet.

Despite this, there is also a fair amount of Hooch het. The second-most popular ship on AO3 is Snape/Hooch. Hooch also has ship threads at FictionAlley Park's SCUSA forum with Snape, Lucius Malfoy, Sirius Black, and Oliver Wood.[13] She is also sometimes paired with Horace Slughorn in fanfiction.

In a December 2007 interview on PotterCast, Rowling and the PotterCast interviewers touched on the fanon speculation about Hooch's romantic background:

JN [John Noe]: ... I know a few people out there have been wondering if Madam Hooch had ever been in love.

JKR: (laughs) Do you know what? Madam Hooch really did not have any kind of romantic backstory. Well, not my invention, I don't know. We'd have to go and trawl the fanfic for that.

MA [Melissa Anelli]: I'm sure we'd find it, Jo.

JKR: Yeah. I bet we would.

JN: I think there's categories of it, actually.[14]

Hooch in the Films

Madam Hooch was portrayed by Zoë Wanamaker in the first Harry Potter film. She was well-received by fans. For example, fan artist Nasubionna writes:

I didn't have a super clear image of her in my head until saw her casting and costuming in the first movie (played by Zoe Wanamaker), and I thought, "Yes, perfect. Fierce, raptor-like, sports and flying enthused woman." As Zoe herself put it, "She's all eagle."[15]

Wanamaker was a popular casting choice, but she did not appear in any of the following seven films.

Meta & Discussion

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

  • The Two Names of Xiomara Rolanda Hooch by pauraque. Hogwarts changes. She changes.
  • The Truth about our Sexuality by EverTheDreamer. Albus is late to a staff meeting, the staff gets side tracked and talk about things that are not altogether academic. Hermione, Harry, and the Weasley children discuss teachers and ...radar. GAY COUPLES
  • Breakfast by lost logic. What are the professors up to when the students aren't around? Betting on the students? Surely not! Find out what's got Hooch breaking out the Monopoly, why Trelawny is on the edge of her seat, and what our favourite Gryffindors have to do with it!

Fanart

Links & Resources

Hooch-centric Sites & Communities

Fanwork Resources

Canon Resources

References

  1. For some contemporary reports, see the Teacher's first names in movie... thread, started 04 December 2001 at FictionAlley Park, and the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone cast list at Emma Watson Online and at The Weighing of the Wands. It was also reported at The Snitch on or before 05 December 2001 (see this post at the IGN forum and this Blogspot comment, both posted 05 December 2001).
  2. See the Madam Rolanda Hooch trading card at the Harry Potter Wiki. The "Quidditch Cup" expansion pack which Hooch's card was a part of was released in November 2001 (see Harry Potter Trading Card Game at Wikipedia and Pojo's Harry Potter Card Price Guide, accessed 24 April 2016).
  3. For example, MMADfan writes at Albus and Minerva Fanfiction!, reply to Madam Hooch: Xiomara or Rolanda?, 05 September 2007:
    "As far as 'Rolanda' or 'Xiomara' go, both have attained recognition in fandom, so it makes sense to use one or the other, but if someone decided to come up with an entirely new first name for Madam Hooch, that would be as acceptable as coming up with one for Mr Olivander, whose first name we never read in the books. (As far as I am aware, anyway!) So feel free to do what you like! (Not that anyone needs *my* permission! Hahaha!)"
    (Mr. Ollivander's first name was revealed to be "Garrick" on Pottermore in 2011, but was not known at the time of the post.)
  4. Many fansites list both "Rolanda" and "Xiomara" as possibilities for Hooch's name. For example, the Harry Potter Lexicon's Madam Rolanda* Hooch includes an asterisk next to the name "Rolanda" with a note about "Xiomara", stating that: "Obviously they can't both be correct. Neither is considered canon until independently confirmed by JKR." The ladyhawk character shrine listed both names on the character info page, stating of her first name that "there seems to be some debate; assuming it's not madam ;)"; it also included that a note that the name Rolanda "is not exactly canon" in the footnote of their image of the Madam Hooch trading card. Other sites, such as What's In a Name (Alphabetical List - H), also list both names.
  5. PurplePopple replied to the question about whether the names were canonical at FictionAlley Park on 13 January 2002:
    "[The names are] guesses by users. IMDB is user driven for a lot of its information... It would have to be confirmed elsewhere by a credible source before I'd consider it vaguely truthful. It's also out dated. Garrett Wang from ST:Voy was reported as being currently married by them when he wasn't because a user submitted it. IMDB hadn't corrected it even two years after it was brought up to their attention."
  6. Female Hogwarts staff who are not professors are referred to as Madam (cf. Madam Pince, Madam Pomfrey). The only person referred to as "Madame" in the books is Madame Maxime, who is French. See also Titles, Names, and Honorifics: Madam (Madame) at the Harry Potter Lexicon (accessed 24 April 2016).
  7. See the Harry Potter Lexicon's Famous Wizard Cards and Harry Potter Trading Card Game for more background on the canon status of the TGC cards. Even when Rowling answered a question posed in the HPL and Mugglenet's Open Letter asking about the cards saying that she "wrote the information on the original Famous Wizard cards," it was unclear which cards she was referring to.
  8. The original IMDb cast list gave Quirrell's given name as "Slatero", but it was confirmed to be "Quirinus" in J.K. Rowling's new writings about Professor Quirrell on Pottermore, first released with Pottermore's launch in 2011 (screenshot of the content on the original site).
  9. See the note on the Harry Potter Lexicon's Professor Sprout article, as archived 16 January 2004 by the Wayback Machine.
  10. Images of Hooch's chocolate frog cards are available at Tumblr here (posted by the-paige-master on 23 January 2016) and here (posted by redont c.2012).
  11. See the CGI image at the Madam Hooch article at Brickipedia (accessed 24 April 2016.)
  12. "Rolanda" is used in the article "Behind the scenes: Madam Hooch", an excerpt from Harry Potter: The Character Vault by Jody Revenson, published in September 2015.
  13. Master Ship List and Ship Registry Submissions (May Contain Spoilers for DH) at FictionAlley Park's SCUSA forum. Last updated 20 July 2013; accessed 26 April 2016.
  14. Melissa Anelli, John Noe, and Sue Upton. "PotterCast Interviews J.K. Rowling, part one." PotterCast #130, 17 December 2007. Transcription by Meann Ortiz at Accio Quote!. (Accessed 17 April 2016.)
  15. Nasubionna at Nasubionna.net. Madam Hooch, archived 04 February 2003 by the Wayback Machine. (Originally written around the release of the film, updated c. early 2003.)