The Fantastical Beasts of the Wizarding World: Part I

Monday, December 5, 2016

In celebration of the recent release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I decided (many months prior) to publish a post relevant to the film. In this post I'll be breaking down the list of the fantastical creatures that exist in the wizarding world (as the title suggests). So, without further ado, here are some the creatures of the wizarding world (in no particular order) ↓

1. Basilisk Snakes

The idea of the Basilisk is not original to the world of Harry Potter. In fact, its popular in multiple cultures. For example, in Greco-Roman mythology, the beast is known as basiliskos or "little king". However, for our purposes we will refer to it merely as the basilisk. The Basilisk is legendary serpent, known as the "King of Serpents" in the wizarding world. According to history, it is a beast bred by wizards practicing dark magic. The Basilisk was first successfully bred by Herpo the Foul, who hatching a chicken egg beneath a toad. Its sounds a little ridiculous, but there it is. The life span of Basilisk snake is approximately nine hundred years, give or take a hundred. Not unlike the effect of the Medusa, looking indirectly at the Basilisk's eyes will result in Petrification. The snake's venom is most poisonous and can kill a victim within mere minutes, the only known being phoenix tears. Any object imbued with Basilisk venom will destroy a Horcrux, take the Gryffindor Sword, for example. Ron used it to destroy the necklace.

2. Dementors

Dementors are dark, non-living creatures. They are considered to be the most nefarious creatures inhabitants of the world. Dementors are covered in dark, hooded cloaks that only reveal their decayed-looking hands. They have featureless faces, with the exception of their mouth-like holes by which they draw breath and consume good emotions and memories from humans leaving only the bad, this process is called the Dementor's Kiss. The presence of a dementor is preceded by the darkening and freezing of the atmosphere, this helps to weaken or otherwise temporary disable the victim, making the Kiss easier to initiate.

3. Boggarts
Boggarts are shape-shifters that take on the form of the victim's worst fear. They like to hide in dark dark, isolated places such as closets (like in Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, when Professor Lupin taught his Defense Against the Dark Arts students to transform a Boggart into a comical object by using the Riddikulus charm.) Harry's Boggart transformed, naturally, into a dementor.

4. Thestrals

Thestrals are a winged species akin to a horse that are seen only by people who have witnessed death. They are the creatures that pull the carriages full of elder students to the Hogwarts castle after arriving to the train station, the students believe that the carriages are bewitched, but little do they know...

Because of their appearances, Thestrals have acquired an unwarranted repute as "omens of evil", Dolores Umbridge held that Thestrals are dark and "dangerous creatures", but that assumption had been made on the account of her general half-breed prejudice, so her opinions don't count. In fact, Thestrals don't attack humans without provocation, as stated by Hagrid. Thestrals have fangs and an impressive sense of smell that enables them to locate food (mostly dead) raw meat and they can fly for hours at a time. According to J.K Rowling, Harry couldn't see the Threstrals pulling the carriages for sometimes after he had witnessed Cedric Diggory's death because he had not come to terms with what he had seen.

5. Acromantula

An Acromantula is a giant spider capable of communicating in human speak. These are wizard-bred creatures that were intended to guard valuable or ward off predators. Acromantula are untrainable and are a danger to muggles and wizards alike. They are Class A Non-Tradeable Goods as decreed by the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and there are, as to be expected, grave consequences that come along with the discovery of such violations. Aragog, one of Hagrid's former pets was an Acromantula, for which he was expelled for possessing during his third year at Hogwart. Many believed that the Acromantula was Slytherin's Monster (the one he placed in the Chamber of Secrets), but it was later discovered to be the Basilisk.

I'll be publishing a Part II of this post in the near future, because there only so many magical creatures you can cover in one post, so stay tuned!

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