105 votes
Accepted

Why did J. K. Rowling choose to downplay dragons?

She didn't choose to violate genre conventions. She doesn't read fantasy in the first place, and Harry Potter wasn't intended as a (high) fantasy. In an interview with The New York Times, J. K. ...
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  • 9,303
88 votes
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Are werewolves in the Forbidden Forest consistent with later explanations on werewolves?

The "Werewolves" in the Forest are Actually Highly Intelligent Regular Wolves This is from the Pottermore entry on werewolves: One curious feature of the condition is that if two werewolves meet ...
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  • 1,661
68 votes

Why is Hogwarts allowed to house such dangerous creatures?

Hogwarts is their home. The kids are (mostly) protected by being told to keep away from the animals. Many of the creatures in question considered Hogwarts to be their home, just as much as any of the ...
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56 votes
Accepted

Are any real-life animals considered magical in the HP Universe?

Yes, the dodo. In the Harry Potter universe, the small flightless birds are actually magical creatures called Diricawls that can disappear at will when humans approach. Muggles assume they've hunted ...
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52 votes

Why did J. K. Rowling choose to downplay dragons?

Dragons in Harry Potter are indeed powerful. Though it’s true that dragons were used in one of the tasks of the Triwizard Tournament competed in by schoolchildren, dragons were shown to be powerful ...
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  • 104k
44 votes

Would a boggart-basilisk kill someone?

I would say no. We have two canon instances of a boggart taking the form of a deadly creature. The first is a banshee, which materialises as Seamus’s fear in the first class with the boggart. ...
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  • 101k
42 votes
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Could a muggle see a thestral?

I would say yes. Three pieces of supporting evidence: Using Thestrals for transport is a serious breach of the Statute of Secrecy. From the first WOMBAT (transcript on HP Lexicon), if we assume ...
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  • 101k
38 votes
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Do you only need to bow once when meeting a hippogriff?

You need to bow again. Harry bowed to Buckbeak in the lessons: Harry didn't much feel like exposing the back of his neck to Buckbeak, but he did as he was told. He gave a short bow and then looked up....
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  • 37.2k
33 votes

Why couldn't Harry see Thestrals at the end of Goblet of Fire?

Let me quote J. K. Rowling's answer from her old website: Why could Harry see the Thestrals 'Order of the Phoenix'? Shouldn't he have been able to see them much earlier, because he saw his parents/...
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  • 31.7k
32 votes
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Why was Sirius Black able to ride Buckbeak?

It doesn’t seem to be a requirement to bow, just highly advised. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt writes that bowing to the Hippogriff shows good intentions, but he doesn’t say it’s an ...
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  • 104k
30 votes
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What is the name of these creatures in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

Per Pottermore The Cornish pixies make their second appearance in the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Behind the scenes: Cornish pixies These are, of course, ...
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  • 608k
28 votes

How Could Hogwarts Have Realistically Accommodated the Basilisk 800 - 1000+ Years Ago?

An answer comes from a Pottermore update which describes the history of the Chamber of Secrets (transcript), along with some speculation of my own. Here’s the relevant passage: (In spoiler text for ...
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  • 101k
28 votes

Why did Dumbledore appoint Hagrid as professor of Care of Magical Creatures?

Danger is part and parcel of a Hogwarts education Hagrid may deal with dangerous creatures, and believe them to be far less dangerous than they actually are, but in bringing them to lessons, he is ...
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  • 111k
27 votes

Does the Crumple-Horned Snorkack exist?

Not specifically, but we know from a Bloomsbury Live Chat with JKR that Luna spent her entire professional life looking for one (with her husband, the noted Magiczoologist Rolf Scamander, grandson of ...
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  • 608k
27 votes
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Do magical pests only infest Wizard houses and buildings?

Some do, but some also infest Muggles. Certain magical pests are either created by or attracted to magic, so therefore affect only wizard dwellings. Other magical pests do indeed infest and affect ...
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  • 104k
26 votes

Are werewolves in the Forbidden Forest consistent with later explanations on werewolves?

There are no werewolves in the Forest. Hagrid was just giving a quick, factual answer. He might also have been teasing Malfoy. I think it's correct to say that there were no werewolves in the Forest ...
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26 votes
Accepted

What are these cat like fantastic beasts from The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer?

Those creatures are Matagots, spirit familiars that resemble cats. Those cat-like creatures are Matagots, as Newt says when he sees them in the French Ministry. At that moment, MELUSINE enters the ...
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  • 104k
26 votes
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Can only humans be witches or wizards?

The non-human creatures that use magic aren’t called wizards. There are some non-human creatures that can do magic, like goblins and house-elves, but those beings aren’t called wizards - wizards have ...
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  • 104k
25 votes
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What is this creature from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?

This is 'Egg Creature'. Apologies if that seems like an anti-climax but, based on a discussion with the filmmakers, I think that's the best answer we're going to get. Firstly, if it seems that this ...
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24 votes
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Why don't Muggles have to de-gnomify their gardens?

According to JKR, gnomes are only found in the homes of wizards. No specific explanation is given as to why this is. Q. Why are the gnomes bad? What do they do? JKR: Gnomes eat the roots of ...
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  • 608k
23 votes

Are White Walkers sentient beings with certain super-powers? If yes, what are their powers?

Unsurprisingly, most of the White Walker (The Others) abilities revolve around ice and cold. I am going to draw on some back story from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, but only where it is relevant ...
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  • 58.3k
23 votes

What do the acromantulas eat in the Forbidden Forest?

The official info from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them mentions that they enjoy 'large prey' The Acromantula is a monstrous eight-eyed spider capable of human speech. It originated in ...
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  • 608k
23 votes

Are any real-life animals considered magical in the HP Universe?

Salamanders are mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as being magical in nature. Their properties don't, however, match those of muggle salamanders. SALAMANDER The salamander is a ...
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  • 608k
21 votes
Accepted

In Harry Potter, is there a cure to werewolf bites?

There is no cure for someone who's already become a werewolf. This passage states that there's no way to cure a werewolf, not necessarily that there's no way to cure a werewolf bite. Humans turn into ...
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  • 104k
19 votes
Accepted

Is the world doomed?

The answer is in the details of the quote. You cannot destroy Dementors There is a great deal of difference between being able to destroy a Dementor, and them never dying. This leads into ...
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  • 23.9k
19 votes
Accepted

What are the differences between a ghoul, a ghost and a poltergeist?

We have detailed descriptions of all three in canon. They appear similar on the surface, but they don't seem to have much in common (other than a propensity for annoying living humans). Ghouls From ...
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  • 101k
19 votes
Accepted

What creatures can apparate?

Phoenixes and Diricawls can vanish and reappear at will, which may or may not count as Apparition. Both of these are mentioned in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book. Professor ...
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  • 31.7k
19 votes
Accepted

Identify feminist book involving beast masters

Dragonflight (1968) by Anne McCaffrey — "— Might as well call it rape." It’s not "Beastmasters," but "Dragonriders" who bond with their dragons. When the dragons mate, ...
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18 votes

Why does the Obscurus not appear in the textbook?

Well, first of all, quite a number of creatures are omitted from the version of Fantastic Beasts published by J.K. Rowling. No thunderbird, no swooping evil, and so forth. I suppose one could argue ...
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