Harry Potter: 10 Things You Didnt Know About Buckbeak
The Harry Potter franchise features tons of timeless characters, but how much do fans know about the relatively unsung hippogriff, Buckbeak?
We first met Buckbeak during The Prisoner Of Azkaban when he had taken up residence outside of Hagrids hut. In the films, he became an important part of that Voldemort-less story. After that, we saw nothing of him on-screen, despite his semi-regular appearances in the novel series. This gaping hole in the story of Buckbeak means that many fans of Harry Potter are unaware of what happened to him in the bookand in the wider landscape of Potter according to JK Rowling).
Weve put together a list of ten things you might not know about the most famous Hippogriff of all time.
How Do Hippogriffs Behave
By nature, the Hippogriffs of the wizarding world are very proud. They will react quickly and decisively to anyone foolish enough to insult them hello, Draco and they respond favourably to those with good manners. They are loyal to those that gain their trust, but they are well able to look after themselves and definitely not reliant on humans. Newt Scamanders Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them textbook states that taming a Hippogriff should only be attempted by an expert.
Harry Owned Him After Sirius Death
As Sirius took ownership of Buckbeak after the events of The Prisoner Of Azkaban, he became Sirius possession. In his will, Buckbeak was one of the many things that ended up belonging directly to Harry. This meant Harry kindly allowed Hagrid to be reunited with his favorite pet who ended up living with the half-giant once again. He was present outside Hagrids hut and was in the background during Aragogs funeral.
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And He Was Renamed Witherwings
After the death of Sirius and Buckbeaks subsequent transfer to Harrys ownership, he had to be provided with a new name for his own protection. Fans of the novel series will be well aware that his new name was Witherwings, but, as Buckbeak disappeared from the film series early on, we never found out about this change of name. It is likely that after the Battle Of Hogwarts he was able to return to his original name, but we dont know for certain.
He Lived In Sirius Mothers Bedroom
After the events of The Prisoner Of Azkaban, fans of the films were safe in their knowledge that Buckbeak escaped his unjust execution and saw him and Sirius fly off into the distance for a new, safer life. In the books, we bumped into Buckbeak a handful more times. One of those times showed us that Sirius had set up a new home for Buckbeak in his mothers old bedroom at 12 Grimmauld Place.
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Hippogriffs In History And Culture
They were supposedly a symbol of the Greek god Apollo, and the word Hippogriff comes from the Ancient Greek word for horse, hippos, and the Italian grifo, which means griffin, that other mythical half-eagle creature. According to legend, Hippogriffs are created when a griffin mates with a horse, hence the name.
The Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto wrote about a Hippogriff in his 1516 epic Orlando Furioso. His Hippogriff flies around the world and helps one of the poems heroes, Ruggiero, rescue the pagan princess Angelica.
The word Hippogriff was adopted into English in the 1600s. Often shown on heraldic coats of arms, in the 19th century Hippogriffs became a regular subject of visual art, appearing in works by the prolific French artist Gustave Doré. More recently Hippogriffs have appeared in books by E Nesbit and the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. And, of course, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
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He Defended Harry Against Snape
After the death of Albus Dumbledore at the hand of Severus Snape, Harry was pretty furious. So furious, in fact, that he followed Snape across the castle grounds, eventually finding out that he was the Half-Blood Prince. Buckbeak proved his commitment to Harry during this fight by coming to his aid to ward Snape off.
Yet, one of this was depicted in the film. Instead, we saw Buckbeak defend against Lupin in werewolf form three films earlier.
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Hagrid Had More Than One Hippogriff
In the film version of The Prisoner Of Azkaban, we only ever saw Buckbeak and the events surrounding his release were focused exclusively on him. In the book, however, Hagrid was actually rearing a herd of Hippogriffs. This meant that Buckbeak himself wasnt stuck on his own without friends, as he was in the film version.
Differences From The Source Material
- Buckbeak also defecated in the film version it happens right after Ron urges Harry to go up to Buckbeak. The CGI team believed this was the first time an animal was animated doing this, but Walking With Dinosaurs did it first in 1999.
- In the film adaptation, Buckbeak rushes in to save Harry and Hermione from Lupin, who was turned into a werewolf.
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Remember Buckbeak The Haughty Hippogriff From The Harry Potter Movies Theres A Real
You all remember Buckbeak, I take it. A half-eagle, half-horse hybrid called a Hippogriff, Buckbeak was regal, proud, and gentleso long as you showed him the proper respect. Usually, that meant bowing. If you didnt observe the proper procedures, Buckbeak wouldnt hesitate to tear you a new one, as Draco Malfoy learned too late.
Now, the world has discovered whats being billed as a real life Hippogriff. Technically, its a Shoebill Stork named Sushi, but it does look dangerous, and it requires that you bow to it before coming any closer. Otherwise, it just flies off, which is better than goring would-be wildlife enthusiasts.
See Shushi in action below.
As the video points out, there may be as few as 5000 Shoebill Storks in the world, making them very rare. I dunno if I would go so far as to claim that theyre just as uncommon as the mythical Hippogriff, though. After all, Shoebill Storks areyknow, real, while Hippogriffs are made-up. So far as I know, anyway.
All the same, Sushi looks almost as outlandish as Buckbeak. No, he doesnt have the body of a horse, but that enormous beak isnt something youre going to find on any bird at the park. He looks like he could do some damage with it, too, were he so inclined. Thank god all he does is fly away if disrespected.
Where Do Hippogriffs Live
Hippogriffs are native to Europe, and the Hogwarts herd live in the Forbidden Forest. When they are breeding, Newt explains in Fantastic Beasts, a Hippogriff will build a nest on the ground and lay a single large egg, which hatches within 24 hours. Hippogriffs can usually fly within a week of birth, but it takes many months before they are able to travel great distances. In the wizarding world, those who keep Hippogriffs in their own homes are bound by wizarding law to perform a Disillusionment Charm on their pets to prevent Muggles from noticing.
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Ron Cant Attempt To Ride Him In The Video Game Adaptation
While we see Hermione and Harry riding Buckbeak at one pointand Hermione really not having a good timewe never see Ron take a turn on the back of the Hippogriff. In the video game adaptation of The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Ron is unable to even attempt to ride him, simply bouncing away instead of bowing and attempting to earn his respect.
Pottermores Guide To Hippogriffs
When Dumbledore announces Hagrid as Hogwarts new Care of Magical Creatures teacher, its fair to say there is a little trepidation after the initial excitement. And really, when you look at some of the creatures Hagrid has introduced before , you can see why.
So its something of a relief when Hagrid brings a herd of beautiful, regal Hippogriffs to his first class. They might look unusual, but at least theyre not breathing fire or attempting to eat people. Which is not to say you should underestimate a Hippogriff quite the reverse. If Draco Malfoy had listened to Hagrid or read our guide below, perhaps hed have avoided that injury he so enjoyed milking.
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Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Buckbeak is first seen in the first lesson of the Care of Magical Creatures class with Hagrid as the teacher. When the third year Gryffindor and Slytherin caught sight of him, they look surprised. When Hagrid asks for a volunteer to pet Buckbeak, Harry unwittingly becomes when everyone else steps back. Hagrid directs Harry to bow and carefully approach him. When Buckbeak takes a liking to Harry who has successfully approached him and respected him, Hagrid lets him go a ride on Buckbeak around Hogwarts before landing back at the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest.
However, Draco Malfoy, ignoring Hagrid’s warning of never to insult a hippogriff, approaches rather foolishly and calls him a “great ugly brute”. This resulted Buckbeak to rise onto his hind legs and slash Draco’s arm, until Hagrid calms him down with meat. Hagrid carries the wounded Draco to the hospital wing whilst Harry strokes Buckbeak in a comforting way. It is mentioned that due to the incident, Lucius Malfoy has Buckbeak sentenced to death.
Buckbeak is later seen tied to Hagrid’s pumpkin patch on the day of the execution as Harry, Ron and Hermione visit Hagrid, who rushes them out of sight as Dumbledore, Fudge and Macnair arrive to carry out the execution. Dumbledore, Fudge and Hagrid, as well as Harry, Ron and Hermione who are hiding, watch as Macnair decapitates Buckbeak.
What Is A Hippogriff
Hippogriffs are half horse, half eagle. These legendary creatures were first mentioned by the ancient Latin poet Virgil and have subsequently appeared in numerous stories, poems and works of art. They are similar to another mythical creature, the griffin. Griffins have the hind quarters of a lion rather than a horse, but griffins and Hippogriffs both have the front features of an eagle, including a beak, talons and wings just like the Hippogriff herd at Hogwarts.
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Was Jk Rowling Inspired By The Shoebill When She Created Buckbeak
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hagrid says to Harry about Buckbeak:
Give him a nice bow. Then you wait and see if he bows back.
In this footage, we see people approaching a shoebill in the same manner:
Was JK Rowling inspired by the shoebill when she created Buckbeak?
- I hope someone here has an actual answer, but, personally, the whole “bowing to a supernatural creature” thing reminded me of the kappa . PamJul 27, 2021 at 14:34
- A lot of birds use bowing displays for various kinds of social signalling, it isn’t unique to shoebills. For example this page says ‘Male Mourning Doves may bow repeatedly and then lift their heads and coo when defending their territories’ and also ‘Pairs of adult Adelie Penguins do bowing displays and exchange vocal greetings at “changings of the guard,” thus making large colonies extremely noisy’. For another ex. see the albatross courtship displays at youtube.com/watch?v=YvpHBALOCAI& t=50s HypnosiflJul 27, 2021 at 16:16
Back In Hagrid’s Care
- Buckbeak protecting Harry from Severus Snape
In 1996, month after Sirius’ death, Albus Dumbledore told Harry that according to Sirius’ will, he was now the legal owner of Buckbeak, though Harry told Dumbledore that Buckbeak could continue living with Rubeus Hagrid.
In order to protect the hippogriff’s identity, Buckbeak was renamed “Witherwings” at this time. He was greeted by Harry Potter in front of Hagrid’s hut when the trio dropped in for a visit. He was also present near the hut during Aragog’s funeral.
30 June, 1997, Buckbeak joined Harry’s duel with Severus Snape across the grounds, attacking Snape and driving him off, thus protecting Harry. Buckbeak survived the battle and was still in very good health.
- “Harry saw great winged creatures soaring the heads of Voldemort’s giants, thestrals and Buckbeak the hippogriff scratching at their eyes while Grawp punched and pummelling them and now the wizards, defenders of Hogwarts and Death Eaters alike were being forced back into the castle.”
- Buckbeak takes part in the second half of the final battle
Buckbeak fighting a giant during the Battle of Hogwarts
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Living With Sirius Black
- “ Tethered at the end of it, one end of his rope around a large rock, was Buckbeak the hippogriff. Half grey horse, half giant eagle, Buckbeaks fierce orange eye flashed at the sight of them. All three of them bowed low to him, and after regarding them imperiously for a moment, Buckbeak bent his scaly front knees and allowed Hermione to rush forward and stroke his feathery neck.”
- The trio meeting Buckbeak in the Hogsmeade Cave
The trio visiting Sirius in the cave in which he’s hiding with Buckbeak
18 June, 1996, Kreacher injured Buckbeak with the encouragement of Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy so that Sirius would be occupied with taking care of him when Harry tried to contact him. This led Harry to believe a false vision Lord Voldemort showed him, where Sirius was being tortured in the Department of Mysteries. The scene lured Harry and his friends to the Ministry, and set the stage for a battle. During the battle Sirius died, knocked through the Veil in the Death Chamber.
Harrys Flight In The Book And Film Are Very Different
One of the most iconic scenes in The Prisoner Of Azkabancomes when Harry flies on Buckbeak for the first time. He is nervous and confused, but, in the film, we see him rather majestically learn how to control the winged beast.
The flight in the books is a lot bumpier, and Harry makes it very clear that he didnt exactly have a good time during his first flight. That makes for quite the difference from his giddy shouts in the film.
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Relationships With Other Characters
Despite his being shown as a domesticated beast of burden, like a horse, Buckbeak is seen to have loyalty much like a house pet. This may be due to Hagrid’s treating him like a house pet initially. Buckbeak’s primary loyalty is to Hagrid, his first and last owner . Once Buckbeak accepts Harry, there is also some loyalty, or at least willingness to take instruction, from Harry Harry is able to ride him the day they meet, and is able to extract him from behind Hagrid’s hut and ride him again on the evening of Buckbeak’s scheduled execution. evening. He then accepts Sirius Black as owner, and remains loyal to him until Sirius’ death, when he returns to Hagrid’s care, but Harry’s nominal ownership.
What Do Hippogriffs Look Like
Most artistic representations of Hippogriffs show a creature with the colouring of a giant eagle large white-tipped wings and a curved yellow beak. The Hippogriffs of Hogwarts are more varied. They all have different coloured coats, including stormy grey, chestnut brown and a pinkish roan. Buckbeak, the Hippogriff that allows Harry to fly on his back and injures Malfoy, also has large, piercing orange eyes and a great, sharp head.
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There Is A Song About Him
With the immense fame of the Harry Potter franchise, it is no real surprise that there are quite a few musical groups who exist exclusively to sing about it. One such group is called Draco and The Malfoys, who have a song called “Hippogriffs Deserve To Die.” Harsh.
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How Do You Approach A Hippogriff
Given their intensely proud nature, when meeting a Hippogriff it is customary to wait for them to make the first move. Eye contact should be maintained. You should always bow to a Hippogriff it shows that you are well-intentioned and wait for them to reciprocate. If they dont return your greeting, make a quick retreat. If they bow back you can go closer, and if a Hippogriff accepts your approach they might even allow you to climb aboard and take a flight into the skies.
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