If your immediate answer is yes, then you’re clearly a Potterhead that would relish the opportunity to get up close and personal with your favourite Harry Potter creatures. If the answer is no, however, consider Warner Bros Studio Tours as a day out to the zoo, but with a difference!
Why are magical creatures so much fun?
Why aren’t they? While the antics of Harry Potter and his friends are exciting, they wouldn’t have defeated Voldemort and his Death Eaters without the help of some furry and winged friends along the way. Of course, not all of the creatures featured in the books and films are good at heart, but that’s all part of the fun!
Which are the good creatures?
With the exception of Ron Weasley’s rat, Scabbers, who turned out to be the nasty Peter Pettigrew in disguise, the animals owned by Hogwarts students, as their familiars, are all loyal and good-natured. Harry’s owl, Hedwig, is chief among them, but sadly dies when protecting him in an airborne battle with Voldemort’s cronies.
As well as students’ pets, there are a host of other amazing creatures that deserve high praise. The best include:
Half horse and half eagle, these magnificent creatures are beautiful to behold, but hard to tame. Suckers for proper etiquette, Hippogriffs like to be approached slowly and bowed to, with eye contact maintained throughout. If they bow back, humans may mount them and soar into the air on their backs. Buckbeak is the most famous Hippogriff in Harry’s world and there is a full-scale animatronic model of him in the Forbidden Forest exhibit. Will he bow to you?
Incredibly regal large birds with tears that can heal all maladies, the most well known is Fawkes, Albus Dumbledore’s phoenix that lives in his office. He can be found, still in place, close to the headmaster’s desk.
Mystical creatures that should be protected at all cost, they live in the Forbidden Forest and are often hunted by those wanting their blood to make an elixir for long life.
Not as evil as you might think, despite their fire-breathing abilities! Many of the older characters in Harry Potter go on to work with dragons, most notably, Charles Weasley. Dragons featured in the Triwizard Tournament and are often depicted as being abused by unethical characters. Poor dragons!
So, which are the baddies?
Given that ruthless witches and wizards can train animals to do their bidding, there are a plethora of nasty creatures to be aware of.
Not technically one of the evil guys, these giant spiders live in the Forbidden Forest and view humans as easy prey. Aragog is the exception to the rule, having been raised by Hagrid, who encourages him to leave Harry alone, but in Hagrid’s absence, there is little to stop him giving in to his carnal tendencies. Don’t get a shock if Aragog pops out at you in the Forbidden Forest!
A terrifying snake-like creature that is up to 50 feet long, Harry comes up against a monstrous variety that has been hidden in the Chamber of Secrets. Take a look at the model featured on the tour and you’ll get a real feel for how scary it must have been for Harry to defeat it, fangs and all!
Seemingly harmless creatures, Boggarts take the form of an individual’s greatest fear, rendering them paralysed and unable to fight back. The only defence is to humiliate them! Who can forget the image of Professor Snape wearing Neville Longbottom’s grandmother’s clothes?
Heralded as soulless, foul beings, these flying spectres suck the joy right out of people, through their mouths. Charged with guarding Azkaban, the wizard prison, they shirk their duties to wreak havoc in many places, including the Hogwarts Express, so wands at the ready when you jump onboard during your tour!
What about taking a magical creature home?
While you can’t buy a real Hedwig, as much as you might like to, a plush soft-toy version will be easy to come by in the studio shop at the end of the tour. There are a host of other cuddly creatures to choose from too, so don’t forget your purse!