It's quite clear to me that a stag Patronus is more physically imposing than an otter would be. Is this still the case for its ability to ward off Dementors, and general strength?

I realise the shape is determined by personality, etc, but it seems (to me at least) that Hermione's otter might indicate she has less of a store of positive emotions, at least compared to Harry, to draw from. Likewise for other wizards whose Patronus takes a non-imposing animal form.

Is there a breakdown of animal forms taken by Patronuses and their user's relative aptitude at using them to ward off Dementors?

  • 3
    See also scifi.stackexchange.com/a/64134/4918 which quotes Pottermore saying “While a rare and magical Patronus undoubtedly reflects an unusual personality, it does not follow that it is more powerful, or will enjoy greater success at defending its caster.”
    – b_jonas
    May 6, 2015 at 19:04

3 Answers 3


The animal form of a patronus does not determine its strength.

  • From Accio Quote, via analysis of WOMBATs info (based on Question 14, Grade 3).
  • Here is Accio Quote's full analysis.
    – ibid
    Jan 24, 2017 at 16:42

Size and shape has nothing to do with power, the associated emotions determine how effective the patronus is.

"The happier the memory, the more powerful and tangible the Patronus will be"

"The specific animal forms that corporeal Patronuses take vary from person to person and reflect each individual's personality"

- Quotes from the books.

Nothing is mentioned about size and shape effecting the strength, they represent the person's personality.


The difference in Patronuses, that has largely been missed because of the aptitude of the students in Dumbledore's Army, is between an incorporeal Patronus and one in the form of an animal. Once you've reached a corporeal form the form itself is determined by an emotional attachment to that particular creature. Harry, for example, has been known to have fewer stores of positive emotions because of his upbringing in the Dursleys' and had a lot more difficulty forming his Patronus initially than a lot of the students he then taught the charm to.

  • 1
    You don't address the question, whether size has anything to do with power.
    – Kevin
    Apr 24, 2012 at 14:45

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