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Inspired by the famous question, something subtle about it struck me.

Harry definitely witnessed and dealt with Cedric's death. It took a while before he could see the Thestrals because it takes a while to process loss. Luna can see them because of her mother's death. I believe Hagrid can see them because of one or both of his parents' deaths.

Now, is there any evidence to say if Hagrid and Luna literally witnessed death (reasonably unusual but it happens - though Luna would have seen her mother's particularly unpleasant sounding death, poor girl) or does experiencing the loss and processing the passing count? In this case, most Hogwarts age students should probably be able to see the Thestrals assuming that the death of a grandparent or other relative would count.

So, do you need to witness death, or experience a loved one's passing?

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  • That answer actually says "You must process death," which I understand and include in my question. But must you witness it? Can everyone who's grandma died see them, or do you need to actually have been present, as Luna sounds a bit like she might have been?
    – ThruGog
    Apr 17, 2016 at 19:20
  • The dupehammer is strong today....
    – Adamant
    Apr 17, 2016 at 19:37
  • Yes, you must witness death, and then fully process the meaning of what you have seen. I think that answer is pretty clear, as well as JKR's comments. Yes, Luna saw her mother die; she subsequently can see Thestrals. Apr 17, 2016 at 20:06
  • Please read the comment by J.K. Rowling. I think you are overanalyzing this. Apr 17, 2016 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Jonah -- I'm not sure what you mean. I read it as a duplicate, therefore I closed it as a duplicate. Nothing to look at there. Apr 17, 2016 at 20:08

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