There have been numerous magical creatures that were introduced to us in the Harry Potter franchise. Some were based on mythology that some of us are familiar with, and others are simply made up. There were tons of magical creatures that were mentioned in the books, but not the films, and others that were mentioned in both that we all came to either love or became curious about. Here are a few favorites from the Harry Potter franchise that I wish I could see up close and personal.
Before learning about all the different types of magical creatures, you first should know what magizoology is. It’s basically the study of magical creatures. Someone who works in the ministry of magic that studies magical creatures is called a magizoologist.
There are three divisions when it comes to magical creatures. They are “Beast Division,” “Being Division,” and “Spirit Division.” Beast Division deals with giants, fairies, pixies, and gnomes etc. Being Division deals with Humans and and anything human-like with intelligence. Spirit Division deals with ghosts and poltergeists.
The Giant Squid lives in The Black Lake. Some would think this is a dangerous creature, but really the Giant Squid is very gentle to anyone who happens to be in or around the lake, and especially to anyone who falls inside. It acts as a life guard, and pushes the person to safety. The students and staff of Hogwarts didn’t seem to run into this creature very often because no one seemed to be around The Black Lake very often
These creatures weren’t seen very often either, unless you happen to be in The Black Lake, which is where they lived. Harry encountered these creatures during tone of the tests of The Triwizard Tournament. They have the body of fish and the upper torso is more human-like, though not what you’re use to seeing.
Also lives in The Black Lake. They are described as being “horned water demons” with octopus-like tentacles for legs. Professor RJ Lupin, who taught Defense Against the Dark Arts in Harry’s third year, used one of these creatures to show the class how to defend themselves against one. Although the Grindylow was mentioned and seen in the books, it was not seen in the films.
These creatures were introduced to us in Harry’s third year also. It is half eagle and half horse. When Rubeus Hagrid was finally allowed to teach at Hogwarts he became the Care of Magical Creatures teacher, and one the first creatures he taught about was the Hippogriff. There is a certain way to approach one of these beasts, and if done the wrong way, it could take it as an insult and attack, the same way it attacked Draco Malfoy.
Dragons were mentioned all throughout the series. There were many different kinds, with the Hungarian Horntail being the most dangerous one. This particular type of dragon is what Harry had to face during the first test of the Triwizard Tournament. They are large winged reptiles capable of flight.
These are winged-horses, and can only be seen by those who have witnessed death. In other words, can only be seen by someone who has witnessed someone die. Otherwise they are invisible to the naked eye. Harry developed the ability to see Thestrals after witnessing his godfather Sirius Black get killed by his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange. Luna Lovegood, who is a year younger than Harry, is also able to see these creatures because she witnessed the death of her mother during a horrible magical accident.
A boggart’s true form is never really seen or known because this is a shape shifter who takes the shape of whatever a person fears the most. If you’re afraid of dogs, it’ll turn into a dog. If you’re afraid of a person, it’ll turn into that person, and so on. Professor Lupin also used one of these to teach his Defense Against the Dark Arts class in Harry’s third year at Hogwarts.
These are ghoulish creatures who guard the wizard prison, Azkaban. They thrive off of your emotions, and basically suck all the happiness out of you. When a prisoner is sentenced to what is known as “the kiss of death” a Dementor will suck your life force out of your body completely, leaving nothing but a shell. This is also known as “the dementor’s kiss.” The only true way of defeating dementors is using your most powerful happy memory while using the spell “Expecto Patronum.” When extremely powerful, it creates a full body patronus, demonstrated by Harry numerous times.
Self explanatory. Giants are “looked down upon” for being dangerous, unpredictable monsters. They live somewhere in the mountains, away from humans. Hagrid is a half-giant. When this became known, many people turned against him, though there were plenty others who stuck by him because they know that he is gentle and emotional, even if he is a bit clumsy.
These are human-like slaves who work for wizards in their private households. Some work at Hogwarts. They are also looked down upon, but only because they aren’t thought of as equals or as having equal intelligence as wizards and witches. Dobby was the first house elf introduced to us during Harry’s second year. There are many others like him that work as if they were slaves. Not only that, but their mentality is of being beneath witches and wizards also. Hermione Granger worked hard so that house elves would be treated equally. It took a long time for even Harry and Ron to realize that she was doing the right thing in trying to gain equality for house elves. During their enslavement, they only wear rags as clothing, and can only be free if their master presents them with clothing. They also refer to themselves in the third person.
Goblins think of themselves as being above witches and wizards, and this is one of the main things that sets them apart from house elves. Although human-like, they don’t work for humans like house elves do, nor are they easy to get along with. This can clearly be seen when Harry, Ron, and Hermione had difficulty in getting the goblin, Griphook, to cooperate with them when they needed his help in getting access to the lower levels of the wizard bank, Gringotts. Goblins also have their own language called Gobbledegook. Goblins believe that the maker of an object, is the object’s actual owner, rather than the one who purchases it. They hate it when the object passes from one wizard to another instead of being returned to the goblin who made it. Such was the case when it came to the sword of Gryffindor. Ragnuk the first, is the goblin who made the sword, and therefore became Griphook’s price for helping Harry, Ron, and Hermione into Gringott’s bank. Like house-elves, they are not allowed wands. But they don’t need them to use magic.
This is a giant spider. They mainly come from Southeast Asia. Hagrid obtained one during his time as a student of Hogwarts. A “misunderstanding” concerning the Chamber of Secrets resulted in him getting expelled because everyone thought the monster inside of it was his pet spider Aragog. Aragog grew into enormous proportions and ended up living in The Forbidden Forest. It had many children that would have eaten Hagrid if it weren’t for Aragog’s intervention. Aragog is the one who explained to Harry and Ron that Hagrid was not the one who first opened the Chamber of Secrets, and that the monster inside has nothing to do with any acromantulas.
This is an ancient serpent who lives in the Chamber of Secrets. Anyone who looks it straight in the eye will die automatically. During Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, many of the students became petrified upon encountering this creature. Hermione discovered, and later Harry, that they only became petrified because they didn’t look it directly in the eye, only through another object or in a reflection. When it came time for Harry to fight the monster, he was able to look at it without worrying about dieing because its eyes were gouge out, thanks to Fawkes, Dumbledore’s phoenix. Spiders are afraid of this serpent and will therefore run away from it. As Aragog said, they won’t even speak of it.
This is a half horse, half human creature who also lives in The Forbidden Forest. Like goblins, they believe their intelligence is greater than a human’s. They also don’t like to associate with humans in any way, and if they do, such as Firenze, are considered as traitors and beat up. Firenze is a centaur who saw the wisdom in helping the wizards, and saw fit to assist them by agreeing to teach Divination at Hogwarts after Professor Trelawny got sacked.They are territorial and only use the bow and arrow to defend themselves. Eventually, they realized their help was needed during the battle at Hogwarts, and decided to help fight with everyone trying to defeat Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Centaurs are great at reading the stars and healing.
A phoenix is a bird with the ability to regenerate or become reborn. When it dies it goes up in flames, and then reborn from the ashes. Their tears are a powerful healing mechanism, as demonstrated by Fawkes when Harry was infected by Basilisk venom.
Are spiritual entities of those who have passed away or killed, and are basically too afraid to cross over. Ghosts roam different areas of Hogwarts, and each house seems to have their own house ghost. Nearly Headless Nick, Moaning Myrtle, The Grey Lady, The Bloody Baron, and more are the most known. Unlike ghosts in reality, ghosts in the Harry Potter world are not scary dark figures. They can interact with you and are very friendly.
Another spiritual entity that is not mentioned in the films. Peeves is a poltergeist only mentioned in the books who roams the castle playing practical jokes on everyone, including the teachers. Argus Filch, the caretaker, is always going after him, and is always being annoyed by him. He enjoys being a troublemaker, and unlike ghosts, can manipulate objects and is capable of flight. During the battle at Hogwarts, Peeves, participated, helping those trying to defeat Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
Unlike regular owls, magical owls are capable of delivering mail, which is a wizard’s primary way of delivering messages. They don’t use muggle post offices, and mail carriers. They can also deliver packages where ever you need them to go. Hedwig is Harry’s owl who, unfortunately, got killed in the seventh book. Errol is an owl who belongs to the Weasleys’ and because it’s so old, is very clumsy and takes forever in delivering messages, sometimes delivering it in the wrong way.
An animagus is any animal that any witch or wizard has the ability to turn into. Their particular animagus is unique to each witch or wizard, and it takes time for them to learn how to completely change into one. Unlike shapshifters, an animagus doesn’t turn into numerous creatures and objects, only the animal that connects to who they are. For example Harry’s animagus is a Stag. That animal is unique to him. Sirius Black’s animagus is a dog, and Professor McGonagall’s animagus is a cat. They can only turn into that one animal at will. This also differs from a werewolf because an animagus doens’t infect others, nor do they have an animal’s mentality.
For more info on the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe: