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Every HP fan knows Harry's boggart was a Dementor.

Dementors can make you relive your most fearful memories. Harry's was exceptionally fearful/tragic. That's why he was so affected by them, and maybe the reason why they turned into his greatest fear.

But that's before his classes with Lupin show him how to cast an effective Patronus against Dementors. Once Harry knows how to ward off Dementors, is he still afraid of them? He practically sent hundreds of them fleeing with his Patronus across the lake.

So, if he were to meet a boggart after that, would it still turn into a Dementor? Couldn't find anything relevant on the net. Wondering if there's anything canon to answer this. If not, I'm gonna ask JKR this whenever I meet her. :D

  • 6
    He fears nothing now! All is well!! – Voldemort Nov 23 '13 at 10:30
  • 4
    @Voldemort I guess next we'll have a 'Harry Potter' coming and informing us about how Voldemort's faring in hell!? xD – The Dragon Rider who Lived Nov 23 '13 at 11:35
  • 6
    Childhood fears are not necessarily erased by either age or rationality. Sometimes we just learn how to control them. – DJClayworth Nov 23 '13 at 19:00
  • Ooh, so close to a badge. Are you guys intentionally holding out on a 10th upvote? :P Just kidding! – The Dragon Rider who Lived Nov 25 '13 at 10:37
  • Have that 10th point for something I hadn't thought about before. – Rob Nov 25 '13 at 14:08
37

In addition to the more philosophical points raised by others, there is hard evidence that Harry's boggart remains a dementor after Lupin's lessons in Goblet of Fire. When Harry is in the maze he encounters a boggart and it takes the form of a dementor:

Then, as he turned a corner, he saw... a dementor gliding toward him. Twelve feet tall, its face hidden by its hood, its rotting, scabbed hands outstretched, it advanced, sensing its way blindly toward him. Harry could hear its rattling breath; he felt clammy coldness stealing over him, but knew what he had to do... ...A silver stag erupted from the end of Harry’s wand and galloped toward the dementor, which fell back and tripped over the hem of its robes... Harry had never seen a dementor stumble. “Hang on!” he shouted, advancing in the wake of his silver Patronus, “You’re a boggart! Riddikulus!” There was a loud crack, and the shape-shifter exploded in a wisp of smoke.

-- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, page 622, US edition

  • Ah, this bit of information had slipped my mind! The weird thing is that I read this very paragraph online just a few days ago and didn't think of the question I posted here. So it's basically canon telling us that it's still a boggart. :) Thanks! – The Dragon Rider who Lived Nov 25 '13 at 10:34
11

Lupin explained that Harry wasn't actually afraid of Dementors per se - he was afraid of fear:

'That suggests that what you fear most of all is – fear. Very wise, Harry.' (Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, CHAPTER EIGHT, Flight of the Fat Lady)

If that's the case, Harry knowing how to drive off Dementors with Patronus has not changed the underlying facts at all:

  1. Dementor is the "best" manifestation of fear (due to its nature)

  2. What Harry feared most were his nightmares relieved in his head - which in no way changed just because he knew how to drive dementors away.


In addition, to JKR, Dementors were manifestation of depression:

I do not think that these are just characters. I think they are a description of depression. "Yes. That is exactly what they are," she says. "It was entirely conscious. And entirely from my own experience. Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced." (source: Treneman, Ann. "J.K. Rowling, the interview," The Times (UK), 30 June 2000)

This again feeds into #2 above - the fact that Harry knows how to drive dementors off doesn't mean he isn't still afraid of the negative thoughts and experiences and memories a Dementor can raise in his mind.

  • I agree. Also, in the fourth book Harry encounters a boggart in the maze and it still takes the form of a dementor. – seaotternerd Nov 24 '13 at 3:54
  • @seaotternerd - make that an answer with a quote. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Nov 24 '13 at 4:48
  • @DVK I guess that's what JKR thought, and so his boggart's still a dementor. Thanks! :D – The Dragon Rider who Lived Nov 25 '13 at 10:35
  • RE: depression. I can see Harry struggling with depression for the rest of his life due to the childhood abuse at the hands of the Dursleys. – pleurocoelus Mar 8 '14 at 16:51

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