Thestrals are one of the more mysterious creatures within the wizarding world. Known for their macabre reputation, thestral only reveal themselves to those who have been touched by death. Thestrals are telling creatures that serve as a reminder that life is fleeting.
We first meet a hippogriff in Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures course. Hagrid’s “dog-like” pet, Buckbeak becomes a center point in the plot of the third novel. He is sentenced to death by the Ministry for his “attack” on Draco Malfoy. His execution becomes the source that sparked the reader’s (as well as Harry’s) introduction to time travel in the wizarding world. Ultimately, Buckbeak is spared and lives out his days as a fugitive on the run with Sirius Black.
- Acromantula (Aragog)
The creepiest creature that is sure to spook many, including Ron Wesley. Acromantula is a giant species of spider, typically used to guard treasures wizard’s wish to be kept secret. We meet Hagrid’s spider friend, Aragog, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We learn of Aragog’s past and his deep connection to the Chamber of Secrets. Tom Riddle released his Basilisk in Hogwarts to exterminate the Mudbloods of the school. However, Hagrid and Aragog took the fall, resulting in Hagrid’s expulsion and Aragog’s fleet into the Forbidden Forest.
Though technically not a mythical creature, I wouldn’t be a true cat lady without mentioning the star feline of the series. Per historical witch stereotypes, Hermione enters her first year toting her beloved cat, Crookshanks. Crookshanks proves to be a useful and intelligent cat in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when he immediately outs Peter Pettigrew’s disguise as Scabbers, thus sparking a deep seeded rivalry between Ron and Crookshanks.
The shape-shifting creature the center of one of the most entertaining scenes in any of the Harry Potter movies. Boggarts are dark, amortal, non-beings that take the form of the viewers greatest fear. In an attempt to teach students how to overcome their fears, Lupin’s exercise turns silly when Ron puts roller skates on a spider and Snape gets turned into a grandma. But the activity turns dark when Harry is confronted with a dementor and fails in his attempt to overcome his fear. This fun creatures helps to establish the greater theme of fear, and facing fears, that transposes throughout the series.
Serving as another source of comedic relief, Goblins in the wizarding world are tasked with protecting the vaults at Gringotts. Their witty remarks and sarcastic attitudes bring light to their dark tunnels and banking vaults. However, their natural magically abilities and super intelligence are seen threatening by the wizarding community, thus influencing the intense fueled between wizards and goblins.
One of our first exposures to magical creatures within the wizarding world, Fluffy is the gigantic three headed dog that protected the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first novel. Apparently, despite Goblin’s magical abilities and intelligence, a three-headed dog is more qualified to watch after the Sorcerer’s Stone. This is similar to the use of three-headed dogs in Greek mythology to guard the underworld. Perhaps suggesting that the Sorcerer’s Stone is an evil source? Funny how Hagrid claims to have acquired Fluffy from a Greek man her met at a Pub.