- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
In honor of the recent announcement of J.K. Rowling’s new wizarding world movie, we count down the top ten beasts of the Harry Potter world. The movie’s screenwriting will be done by J.K. Rowling herself and will follow Newt Scamander, the fictional author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Accordingly, we’re sure that the new movie will be chock full of magical animals, both familiar and never before seen. To prepare ourselves, we looked back on the top beasts in the Harry Potter films.
A thestral is a winged horse-like creature that is invisible unless you have seen someone die. At Hogwarts, thestrals pull carriages from the train station to the castle when students arrive at school.
A basilisk is a giant snake. If a person looks directly into its eyes, they will die. Additionally, basilisk fangs are full of lethal venom. Harry Potter fends off a basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
8) Three-Headed Dog
There is one three-headed dog shown in the Harry Potter world, Hagrid's gigantic guard dog in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which he named Fluffy. The equivalent to this beast in ancient mythology is Cerberus, the three-headed hellhound guarding the exit to the Underworld; this specific name is never mentioned in the books or movies.
Boggarts are shape-shifting creatures that take on the form of whatever the person in front of them fears the most. For Ron, it’s a giant spider and for Harry, a dementor. Only laughing at the boggart and using the Riddikulus charm will shoo it away.
Werewolves are humans who turn into wolf-like creatures during the full moon. A human becomes infected when a werewolf bites him.
Centaurs have the torso and head of a human, but the body of a horse. Centaurs live in the forest and possess human intelligence. They despise that the Ministry of Magic classifies them as “beasts,” and that wizards and witches have exploited them in the past.
The unicorn is a white, horse-like creature with a horn on its head. Drinking the blood of a unicorn can save a human from death, although the rest of that life will be cursed. See a unicorn and a centaur when Harry enters the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
There are several breeds of dragons in the Harry Potter world, including Hungarian Horntails, Chinese Fireballs, and Norwegian Ridgebacks. All the dragons are large, winged, fire-breathing reptiles. Harry encounters a dragon in the Triwizard Tournament and, a few years later, rides the back of a dragon out of Gringotts Bank. Watch it here:
Phoenixes are big crimson-colored birds. They are most well-known for their ability to reincarnate themselves – when a phoenix becomes very old, it bursts into flames and is then born again as a baby phoenix out of the ashes. Dumbledore’s pet phoenix, Fawkes, arrives at his “burning day” in this excerpt from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
Hippogriffs have the rear and hind legs of a horse and the front legs, wings, and head of an eagle. The most famous hippogriff in Harry Potter is Buckbeak, who first appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Buckbeak is supposed to be executed but is saved by Harry and his friends with the use of Hermione’s time turner in the third book and movie. Watch Hagrid teach his class about hippogriffs in this clip:
Image: Wikimedia Commons