16

I blame fan fic for this question, in particular a fic wherein Harry becomes an Animagus in the form of a Niffler.

The Niffler is a British beast. Fluffy, black, and long-snouted, this burrowing creature has a predilection for anything glittery. Nifflers are often kept by goblins to burrow deep into the earth for treasure. Though the Niffler is gentle and even affectionate, it can be destructive to belongings and should never be kept in a house.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Page 30 - Scholastic Books

Q: Are there any instances of an individual whose Animagus form is a magical creature?

For sources, let's please stick to any magical creature found in the seven novels and three ancillary books, tidbits from Pottermore, or creatures as described in interviews with J. K. Rowling. Please note that I am not a fan of the Harry Potter wikia as a source.

  • 1
    HP Lexicon doesn't seem to think so, but that doesn't take into consideration interviews AFAK – Often Right Sep 13 '15 at 3:19
  • The only interview mentioned is one where JKR jokes that Godric is the giant squid in the lake, not sure if that counts as magical. – JohnP Sep 13 '15 at 4:42
  • 4
    This seems to be a duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/q/53739/4918 – b_jonas Sep 13 '15 at 10:22
  • 2
    Un-dup-hammer!! As the person who answered the presumed dupe, i emphathically disagree that my answer fully (or even partially) addresses this question. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 16 '15 at 19:00
  • 2
    Can we count Sirius as being The Grim? – user31178 Sep 20 '15 at 2:08
21
+25

We can work this out with a bit of lateral thinking

The short answer is simply NO, there aren’t mentioned characters in canon which can take the form of a magical creature. The long answer is: I don’t think this is accidental.

In the series we see the Patronuses of only two people who are known Animagi: Minerva MacGonagall and James Potter. Surprisingly, both Patronuses match their Animagus forms.

If this tells us something about the correspondence between Patronus and Animagus then we can see what we know about the former to understand something about the mechanics of the latter. What we know about Patronuses of magical creatures? JKR has specifically stressed how Patronuses are quite always normal animals as opposed to magical creatures, except for very talented wizards

Extinct Patronuses are very rare but not unknown. Strangely, given their long connection with wizarkind, owl Patronuses are unusual. Most uncommon of all possibly Patronuses are magical creatures such as dragons, thestrals and phoenixes. (pottermore)

For example Albus Dumbledore’s Patronus is a Phoenix; also when discussing Remus Lupin’s Patronus she says:

Remus’s Patronus is never revealed in the Potter books […]. It is, in fact, a wolf – an ordinary wolf, not a werewolf. (pottermore)

Being an Animagus so rare, it’s not surprising how the few which managed to succeed are just regular animals… but if given these premises (Patronus form = Animagus form) we think of POTENTIAL ANIMAGI, we can SPECULATE that an exceptional wizard may be able to turn into a magical creature.

(However this may honestly lead to problematic questions: e.g. Dumbledore, whose Patronus is a Phoenix, would turn into a Phoenix himself? Would he be able to access to a Phoenix's magical immortality in this form? In my opinion this is unlikely to happen: it is possible (but it’s pure speculation not stated anywhere in canon) that the more magical the creature, the more the difficulty in becoming that animal [e.g. Niffler = limited magical abilities: higher probability of being a legit Animagus form; Phoenix = huge magical abilities: ability to take on this form practically equal to zero])

1

Main canon

Within the main canon (books, films, etc) the answer appears to be "No". Of the known animagus forms, none are overtly magical:

Falco Aesalon - A falcon
Morgan le Fay - A bird
Cliodne - A sea bird
Minerva Mcgonagall - A tabby cat
James Potter - A stag
Sirius Black - A dog
Peter Pettigrew - A rat
Rita Skeeter - A beetle
Babbitty - A rabbit


Lower canon

The Harry Potter wikia states that in an (unreferenced) interview with JKR, that the distinctly magical 'giant squid in the Black Lake' is in fact Godric Gryffindor in animagus form. Although this was evidenly meant sarcastically, if this interview is accurate it does leave open the possibility that an animagus can be a magical animal.

  • 5
    Why is the giant squid in the Black Lake "distinctly magical"? Giant squids are real creatures, recently caught on underwater video--is there anything in the books' description of it to indicate that it's much larger (or otherwise not a good match for) real-life giant squids? Real life ones can reach over 40 feet in length, with mantles (the non-tentacle part) over 6 feet in length. – Hypnosifl Sep 18 '15 at 20:31
  • 2
    Also, you can see Rowling's comment about the squid being Godric Gyrffindor here, I think it's pretty clear from the context she's using a comical example to illustrate a point about spoilers--she's intentionally picking a hypothetical that is obviously not going to turn out to be true because she doesn't want to give any actual spoilers to illustrate her point about the Leaky Cauldron taking an anti-spoiler policy even about spoilers that have shown up elsewhere on the internet. – Hypnosifl Sep 18 '15 at 20:54
  • I agree with @Hypnosifl's both comments, sorry. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 19 '15 at 21:49
  • So videogames are "main canon" while Rowling's own website is "lower canon"? – ibid Jun 30 '17 at 18:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.