Hi everyone. During my trip last year I went to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter. And since this is everyone’s favourite book to move adaptation, I thought I would give you a tour of ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ while also bringing some of the books quotes to the behind the scenes of making of the movie.
We took a lot of photos during this tour, so I will these will be divided into a few different posts. This week are meeting some of our favourite magical creatures from the Harry Potter series.
“Trotting toward them were a dozen of the most bizarre creatures Harry had ever seen. They had the bodies, hind legs, and tails of horses, but the front legs, wings, and heads of what seemed to be giant eagles, with cruel, steel-colored beaks and large, brilliantly, orange eyes. The talons on their front legs were half a foot long and deadly looking”
About Buckbeak: Buckbeak (temporarily renamed Witherwings during 1996 to deceive the Ministry) (fl. 1993 – 1998) was a hippogriff. He lived with Rubeus Hagrid and many other Hippogriffs, but was later sentenced to death, due to being taunted and provoked by Draco Malfoy and attacking him. Buckbeak was sentenced to death for this act by the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, most of whom had been threatened by Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s father, into voting for that verdict.
With the help of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and her Time-Turner, Buckbeak escaped execution in 1994 and he came under the care of Sirius Black. Sirius kept Buckbeak with him while on the run during the 1994–1995 school year, and later kept him in his mother’s bedroom while in hiding at 12 Grimmauld Place.
After Sirius’s death, Buckbeak came to be owned by Harry Potter through Sirius’s will, though Harry allowed him to live with Hagrid. He participated in two battles of the Second Wizarding War, most notably the Battle of Hogwarts. He showed great affection and loyalty to Harry, defending him whenever he was in danger.
“The little creature on the bed had large, bat-like ears and bulging green eyes the size of tennis balls”
About Dobby: Dobby (27, June (year unknown) – March, 1998) was a male house-elf who served the Malfoy family. His masters were Dark Wizards who treated him cruelly. In 1992, he tried to warn Harry Potter of the plot to have the Chamber of Secrets reopened which he came to know via the contact between his masters and Lord Voldemort. Dobby kept hurting himself in numerous ways, e.g. ironing his hands, and hitting his head against a lamp. He felt this was necessary because he was disobeying his masters, the Malfoy family. At the end of that school year, after Harry had vanquished the memory of Tom Riddle and thebasilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, he tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing Dobby by placing the diary of Tom Riddle inside his own black sock; Lucius disgustedly, separated the book from the sock and threw the sock into the air, where Dobby caught it.
After a period of unemployment during which Dobby was often ostracised for having no “proper shame” about being out of work, the way most house-elves (including his friend Winky) acted. Dobby was generally pleased to be free, although he did enjoy working (as more of a hobby than a career). He was ecstatic to be out of the abusive hands of the Malfoys but equally pleased to join the Hogwarts staff, where he could come and go as he liked, didn’t have many tasks, and those he did have were fairly simple. Dobby requested some compensations for his work and eventually he and Dumbledore came to an agreement. Dobby went on to work in the kitchens at Hogwarts, for which he was paid one Galleon a week, and got one day off each month. Albus Dumbledore also told Dobby that he was free to call him a “barmy old codger” if he liked. He had been accompanied to Hogwarts by his friend Winky, who had recently been dismissed and had agreed to go looking for work and so began Dobby’s new, happy life nearby his closest friends: Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
In 1997, Dobby helped Harry spy on Draco Malfoy with Kreacher. In1998, he went on Aberforth Dumbledore’s orders to save the lives of Harry and his companions Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, Mr Ollivander, and Griphook from Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor and was fatally wounded by Bellatrix Lestrange’s knife as he successfully apparated Harry and Griphook to safety in the Shell Cottage. Harry dug Dobby’s grave in the gardens of Shell Cottage without using magic and placed Dobby’s body inside. After Harry finished burying one of his most loyal friends, he carved a rock saying “HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF.” placing it where Dobby was buried.
“Harry now carried a large cage that held a beautiful snowy owl, fast asleep with her head under her wing”
About Hedwig: Hedwig (b. pre 1991 – 27 July 1997) was Harry Potter’s pet Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus).
In 1991 Hedwig was purchased from Eeylops Owl Emporium and was gifted to Harry from Rubeus Hagrid on his eleventh birthday. Owls are used by wizards to deliver mail, but Hedwig was also an important companion as Harry was initiated into the wizarding world, and continued to be one of his closest companions until her death in the Battle of the Seven Potters in 1997.
Harry decided on her name after finding it in A History of Magic. Before attending his first year at Hogwarts, Harry routinely stayed in his bedroom with Hedwig, away from the Dursleys, since she was the only living creature in the house that did not hate him. Throughout her life, Hedwig provided Harry with mail service, as well as loyal companionship. Hedwig often showed Harry her affection by gently nibbling his ears and fingers, and seemed fully capable of understanding his wishes (as she faithfully followed Harry’s orders to peck Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger until they responded to him).
Hedwig was also highly intelligent, as she flew to France completely of her own accord while Hermione was on holiday there with her parents, just to ensure that Harry received a gift from her for his thirteenth birthday, later arriving at the Leaky Cauldron shortly after Harry stormed out of Privet Drive after a particularly bad argument despite the fact that she had been away and allegedly staying with the Weasleys when Harry left the Dursleys. According to the landlord, Tom, she arrived five minutes after he did. She was also able to deliver letters even though there was no specific address given. Hedwig was a proud creature, and had a habit of staring or hooting “reproachfully,” and showing Harry her tail, cuffing him with a wing, or even nipping him a little harder than usual if she was offended by his thoughtless words or actions. She also seemed fairly disdainful of the hyperactive behaviour of Ron Weasley’s pet owl, Pigwidgeon.
While living with the Dursleys, Hedwig was locked in her cage for months at a time to prevent Harry from sending messages to his “freaky little friends.” As a result, the first holidays after Hogwarts were a frustrating and boring time for her, as much as for Harry. When Harry was rescued by the Weasley brothers in 1992, Hedwig was freed from her cage and flew along following behind the flying Ford Anglia all the way to The Burrow. In 1992 when Harry thought his friends had forgotten him, he mused that Hedwig was the only reason he knew that discovering the wizarding world had not just been a dream. Fortunately, her frustrated hooting during her first year with them convinced the Dursleys to subsequently let Harry let Hedwig out for flights so long as he didn’t use her to send messages, though Harry sometimes ignored this rule and possibly began ignoring it entirely after meeting Sirius Black and gaining leverage with the Dursleys.
Snowy Owls are not native to Great Britain, and this caused some inconvenience, as she could not always perform tasks for Harry. Specifically, when Sirius Black was in hiding from the Ministry of Magic in 1994, Harry could not send Hedwig to deliver messages to him, as onlookers would remember a Snowy Owl always going to and from a specific location, prompting a brief disagreement between the two when Hedwig resented being neglected in such a manner. During 1995, she was attacked by associates of Dolores Umbridge when Umbridge tried to intercept Harry’s mail, requiring Dobby and Professor Grubby-Plank to nurse her back to health.
In 1997, Hedwig was killed during the Battle of the Seven Potters. While in the air, a Death Eater cast the Killing Curse, which was most likely meant for Hagrid, but struck Hedwig instead, killing her instantly. It was said she fell like a rag doll to the bottom of her cage immediately.
To add to his grief, Harry was forced to destroy the side car with Hedwig’s body inside to slow down the pursuing Death Eaters. Harry was devastated by the loss, for which all of his friends comforted him. Hagrid consoled him by asserting Hedwig lived “a great old life”.
“He’s really very handsome most of the time, wonderful red and gold plumage. Fascinating creatures, phoenixes. They can carry immensely heavy loads, their tears have healing powers, and they make highly faithful pets”
About Fawkes: Fawkes was a highly intelligent phoenix and Albus Dumbledore’s animal companion and defender.
Fawkes was instrumental in helping Harry Potter defeat Salazar Slytherin’s basilisk in 1993, and he came to Dumbledore’s aid in fighting Lord Voldemort during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Following Dumbledore’s death, Fawkes sang his Lament over the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and then left, never to be seen again. His tail feathers were the cores of the two twin wands which were held by Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter.
Much of Fawkes’ origins are unknown, but at some point in or prior to 1938, two of his tail-feathers were procured by the wand maker Garrick Ollivander, and fashioned into the cores of two wands (a rare event, as should the two meet, it would initiate Priori Incantatem), made from yew and holly. The yew wand went to Tom Riddle and the holly went to Harry Potter.
Fawkes had not been owned by another wizard prior to Dumbledore, and thus spent his early life as a wild phoenix.
It is unknown as to how Dumbledore and Fawkes met, though it is known to be before 1938, but whatever the case, Fawkes lived with and faithfully served famed wizard, Albus Dumbledore for at least 59 years. As part of his efforts to help Harry in his quest to defeat and kill the Dark Wizard Voldemort and his followers, Dumbledore called Fawkes into battle whenever needed. Throughout the years, there were several instances where Fawkes was extremely helpful. After Dumbledore’s death, he returned to the wild with no ties to another human.
In 1993, Fawkes saved Harry Potter’s life from Salazar Slytherin’s basilisk, blinding the serpent and dropping the Sorting Hat into Harry’s lap, which in turn revealed Godric Gryffindor’s Sword. Fawkes shed healing tears upon Harry’s wounds, inflicted by the Basilisk before its death, and cured him of its venom. Fawkes then dropped Tom Riddle’s Diary into Harry’s lap, giving Harry the chance to destroy it with one of the basilisk’s fangs.
After Harry witnessed Voldemort’s resurrection and Cedric Diggory’s death, Fawkes was present when Harry told Dumbledore and Sirius Black what had taken place. During this conversation, Dumbledore revealed that Fawkes was the phoenix who had donated his tail feathers to Harry and Voldemort’s wands, while Fawkes used his tears to heal the wound in Harry’s leg that was caused by an acromantula in the third task of the tournament.
n late 1995, Fawkes served as a means of communication between members of the Order and Dumbledore, after learning Arthur Weasley had been attacked by Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, while Arthur was guarding The Prophecy.
In mid 1996, Fawkes departed from Hogwarts with Dumbledore when Cornelius Fudge tried to arrest the headmaster for supposedly planning to overthrow the Ministry, through use of the D.A. (Dumbledore’s Army).
During Dumbledore’s duel against Lord Voldemort in the ministry atrium in 1995, Fawkes swallowed a Killing Curse intended for Dumbledore, thus giving Dumbledore time to defend himself against Voldemort’s second oncoming attack. He burst into flame upon swallowing the curse, he burst into flames and was later reborn from the ashes and returned to Dumbledore’s office after Harry Potter was sent there, following his departure from the Ministry of Magic.
After Dumbledore died during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in 1997, Fawkes sang his Lament to the assembled mourners, affecting all with its beauty. Fawkes subsequentially left Hogwarts.
“A spider the size of a small elephant emerged, very slowly. There was gray in the black of his body and legs, and each of the eyes on his ugly, pincered head was milky white”
About Aragog: Aragog (c. 1942—20 April, 1997) was a blind Acromantula owned byRubeus Hagrid. Like the rest of his species, Aragog had a taste for human flesh and was able to communicate with humans. In his youth, he was the size of a Pekingese and near the end of his life was about the size of a small elephant. Aragog had a wife, Mosag, and was the leader of a large Acromantula colony composed of all of his sons and daughters. During his life, Aragog was accused of being Slytherin’s Monster, although this was really a basilisk. Ironically, all spiders fear the basilisk. After Aragog died, some of his venom was taken by Horace Slughorn and was most likely sold later on.
“He recoiled. He had spotted the thing that was making the noises. It had the form of a small, naked child, curled on the ground, its skin raw and rough, flayed-looking, and it lay shuddering under a seat where it had been left, unwanted, stuffed out of sight, struggling for breath”
About Voldemort’s Soul: With the destruction of all of his Horcruxes, when Voldemort’s Killing Curse rebounded and finally ended his life once and for all, his broken and mangled soul was forced to exist in the stunted form Harry saw in King’s Cross, unable to move on or return as a ghost, nor does it have any chance of repairing itself any further or be helped by anyone in any way.
Serpent of Slytherin
“The enormous serpent, bright, poisonous green, thick as an oak trunk, had raised itself high in the air and its great blunt head was weaving drunkenly between the pillars”
About the Serpent of Slytherin: The Serpent of Slytherin was a female basilisk placed by Salazar Slytherin inside the Chamber of Secrets at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The basilisk could only be controlled by Slytherin’s one true heir, Tom Riddle. This means that despite her being a snake, other Parselmouths (such as Harry Potter) have no control over her, though they could still understand her.
Fifty years after Tom Riddle’s original attack on Hogwarts, the basilisk was re-awakened by a shade of Riddle generated by a Horcrux he had housed in his old diary.
During the battle between Harry Potter and the basilisk, Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes was able to blind the basilisk, allowing Harry to fight the basilisk without the fear of being killed instantly by its gaze. After a period of hiding, Harry obtained Godric Gryffindor’s sword from the Sorting Hat, which had been brought to him by Fawkes. Harry lured it to the top of Slytherin’s statue, where he slashed at the evil creature fiercely. The basilisk lunged at him, knocking Harry over, but just as it lunged again to kill him, Harry grabbed the sword and stabbed the basilisk through the roof of its mouth, mortally wounding it. Unfortunately, one of its fangs pierced Harry in his sword arm as a result of the struggle, and splintered off as the basilisk pulled away and flailed around in agony before it ultimately lost its ability to live and its massive weight finally brought it crashing to the floor. Harry yanked the fang out, but knew it was too late: he could feel the poison spreading. Harry was only saved by Fawkes’ tears, and subsequently used the fang (that his arm had been impaled on) to destroy Tom Riddle’s diary, which he would later discover was one of Voldemort’s seven Horcruxes.
“”They can only be seen by people who’ve seen death“
About Thestrals: A Thestral is a breed of winged horses with a skeletal body, face with reptilian features, and wide, leathery wings that resemble a bat’s.
They are very rare, and are considered dangerous by the Ministry of Magic. Thestrals are, undeservedly, known as omens of misfortune and aggression by many wizards because they are visible only to those who have witnessed death at least once (and fully accepted the concept) or due to their somewhat grim, gaunt and ghostly appearance.
Thestrals can be domesticated and mounted, so they are used as an alternative to brooms, Apparition and other methods of transportation. Once trained, they are very diligent and will quickly carry their owners wherever they wish to go. However, travel by Thestral is technically illegal, as it is a breach of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.
According to Luna Lovegood, Thestrals can only be seen by people who have seen death, as Harry has seen Cedric Diggory’s death and the death of Sirius Black.
“Here and there at the dark windows, Harry saw faces…faces that bore no resemblance at all to the painting of the mermaid in the prefects’ bathroom… The merpeople had grayish skin and long, wild, dark green hair. Their eyes were yellow, as were their broken teeth, and they wore thick ropes of pebbles around their necks.”
About Merpeople: Merpeople are creatures resembling half-human, half-fish hybrids (though they are not, in actuality, half-breeds). Like humans, merpeople come in a variety of appearances,though colours uncommon in humans appear to be widespread in merpeople. For instance, the majority of the Black Lake Merpeople colony had green hair, yellow eyes, and grey skin, all traits that would be very uncommon, if not impossible, for a human to naturally possess. Merpeople also seem to be taller than humans, with seven feet appearing to not be an unusual height, at least for a selkie.
“”The cry of the Mandrake is fatal to anyone who hears it”
About Mandrakes: A Mandrake, also known as Mandragora, is a plant which has a root that looks like a human (like a baby when the plant is young, but maturing as the plant grows). When mature, its cry can be fatal to any person who hears it.
Mandrakes are part of the second-year Herbology curriculum at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the 1992-1993 school year, the school’s growth of Mandrakes served the additional purpose of making a Restorative Draught to revive all those who had been Petrified during the Chamber of Secrets openings.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Professor Sprout, Neville Longbottom, and other students, lobbed Mandrakes over the Castle’s battlements to attack the Death Eaters.
All quotes have been taken from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and ‘about’ information has been sourced from Harry Potter Wiki. Images are owned by myself or my friend who I was travelling with.
I hope you enjoyed my stroll through The Making of Harry Potter!!
If you would like to see more of my “Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros Studios”, here are the links to my previous posts: