To my recollection, all physical Patronus charms that we see in the Harry Potter story are in the form of an animal. However, to quote this answer the nature of a Patronus charm is that it "represents that which is hidden, unknown but necessary within the personality", which depending on the traits revealed could be embodied in many different ways.

For example, if a muggle-born wizard's Patronus were to portray strong leadership and perseverance could the physical manifestation appear as Optimus Prime?

  • Do giants count? Pretty sure there's a canon instance of a giant patronus.
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 18:30
  • I think technically a giant would still count as an animal. Humans are technically animals.
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 18:31
  • @Kevin - I believe the implication was that the Patronus was gigantic in size, not that it was of a literal giant.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 18:34
  • 4
    @Kevin - I've found the quote; "Andros the Invincible (Ancient Greek, dates unknown): Alleged to have been the only known wizard to produce a Patronus the size of a giant."
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 18:51
  • @Xantec Do all magical creatures count as animals?
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 19:58

1 Answer 1



In the Book of Spells (available as part of the supposedly canonical Wonderbook Book of Spells game), Miranda Goshawk states that...

... This ancient and mysterious charm conjures a magical guardian, a projection of all your most positive feelings. The Patronus Charm is difficult, and many witches and wizards are unable to produce a full, corporeal Patronus, a guardian which generally takes the shape of the animal with whom they share the deepest affinity. You may suspect, but you will never truly know what form your Patronus will take until you succeed in conjuring it.

and from Pottermore's "Patronus Charm by J.K. Rowling"

The incorporeal Patronus is not a true Patronus and while it will give limited protection, it cannot provide the defensive power of the corporeal Patronus, which has the form and substance of an animal.

Taken together, these statements seem to leave little ambiguity that the corporeal Patronus must be an animal.

  • 2
    I don't see how it indicates that Patronus must be an animal. Actually word generally in the first quote gives some vibe of possible exclusions.
    – Shana Tar
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 8:11
  • @ShanaTar - The other (and more likely) reading is that it can sometimes take the form of an animal with which you don't share the greatest affinity.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 8:58
  • That's the matter of one's perception. Personally I think Patronuses are indeed always animals or creatures as the whole idea is apparently taken from the old conception of totem animals. But to be fair, it's just that this particular quotes can not be seen as complete prove as they leave some space for interpretation. Still think it's a very good find though :)
    – Shana Tar
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 7:40
  • @ShanaTar - Taken together they leave little or no room for mis-interpretation
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 7:45
  • Humans are animals...just sayin'.
    – Spencer
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 19:40

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