As stated in this question (How Big is Hagrid?); descriptions of the size of Hagrid change throughout the books-

"He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide." Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 1

And then in later books:

"About twice as tall as a normal man, and at least three times as broad" Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 12

Did descriptions of Hagrid's size change due to how Harry perceived him?

Was it due to the portrayal of Hagrid in the films? Even so, Hagrid only appears to be taller than average in the films, not wider.

  • 2
    Ghostship's comment answers it very well: He went on a diet.
    – ibid
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:29
  • 7
    Because JK Rowling can't do maths.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:30
  • @Randal'Thor Oh, I dunno, she/Dumbledore did a good job at sneakily recalculating that Griffindor win in The Philosopher's Stone
    – Mikasa
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:34
  • 1
    Or maybe it's because it was coming from Harry's perspective? He has grown over the years, and he's been using his own proportions to measure hagrid, and over time he's gotten bigger but Hagrid has stayed the same.
    – CBredlow
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:44
  • @CBredlow yeah, I realised I was kinda answering my own question when I asked that, and this probably counts as something with no canonical answer... Should I close question?
    – Mikasa
    Apr 13, 2016 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


First, there isn't really a contradiction

Hagrid is indeed both "at least five times as broad as a normal man" and "at least three times as broad as a normal man," not to mention "at least as broad as a normal man." These merely specify a lower limit on his size, and the highest lower limit encompasses all the others (from a highly pedantic perspective).

It may be a matter of perception

Hagrid may have seemed broader when Harry first saw him (credit to CBredlow).

It might be mere exaggeration

If Hagrid's size is being exaggerated in any case, it doesn't particularly matter by how much.

Rowling may mean something different by "broad" than by "wide"

Maybe "broad" refers to the diameter, and "wide" refers to his girth (which would be about 3 times his diameter). Twice three is approximately equal to five.

He may have lost (significant) weight

(Credit to ibid)

  • 1
    So many innuendo's right now... but well-answered, thanks :)
    – Mikasa
    Apr 13, 2016 at 20:10
  • 1
    You left out the ever popular diet theory.
    – ibid
    Apr 13, 2016 at 20:14
  • 1
    alot of times broad is in regards to shoulders, while wide is waist/wholebody. in other fantasy at least.
    – Himarm
    Apr 13, 2016 at 20:51

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