The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the most popular fantasy franchise of modern times. So many elements of myths, legends, and folklore are represented in the series. The Harry Potter franchise is so popular that it heavily influences many peoples’ concept of magic, wizards, and hidden worlds when it comes to entertainment.
One of the most influential components of magical world that Harry Potter has shaped in fans' minds is its magical creatures. Magical creatures are also one of the aspects of myths legends and folklore that Harry Potter borrows the most widely from. The series boasts everything from dragons, phoenixes, and unicorns, to werewolves, vampires, and merpeople. There are even magical creatures of J. K. Rowling’s own imagination. Their role in the Wizarding World is just as diverse as the creatures themselves. Some wizards keep many magical creatures as pets or objects of study, while others take advantage of the creatures' magical powers and use them as potent weapons against their enemies.
Of all of the magical creatures in Harry Potter, some are definitely more powerful than others. Certain creatures have such fantastic properties that they can defy fate or seal it, if used correctly. Even the most knowledgable wizards should keep their distance from these entities. Other creatures, while certainly magical, don’t have such spectacular uses or powers.
If you’re looking for a handy guide about which beasts to befriend and which to avoid, Newt Scamander would surely approve of these 11 Most Powerful (And 10 Weakest) Magical Creatures In The Harry Potter Series, Officially Ranked!
21 MOST POWERFUL: HIPPOGRIFF
Hippogriffs are magical creatures with the hind quarters of a horse, but the wings, head, and front appendages of an eagle. Hagrid brings Hippogriffs to Harry Potter’s first ever Care of Magical Creatures lesson at Hogwarts. They can make faithful friends to those who earn their trust. However, they are extremely proud beasts, prone to lashing out at any one who offends them.
Draco Malfoy learned this lesson the hard way. Hagrid warned the students that Hippogriffs may only be approached if a mutual bow is exchanged. However, Draco ignored this and approached Buckbeak the Hippogriff head on. Buckbeak slashed Malfoy’s arm with his massive talons and Hagrid had to end the lesson prematurely to treat Malfoy.
20 WEAKEST: GRYNDILOW
Grindylows are water-dwelling creatures that lurk in the shadowy depths of the Black Lake at Hogwarts. Harry Potter first encountered them in his Defense Against the Dark Arts class during his third year. Professor Remus Lupin had captured a grindylow and displayed it in a tank in his office.
Harry didn’t have to contend with grindylows until his fourth year. In the second task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Harry and the other champions had to dive into the Black Lake to retrieve something precious to each of them. A whole swarm of grindylows attacked Harry, latching onto him with their wiry fingers and sharp teeth. They almost caused Harry to drown and succeeded in forcing Fleur Delacour to retire from the task.
19 MOST POWERFUL: ZOUWU
The Zouwu is a mysterious magical beast originating in China. Various mythological sources describe the creature as cat-like, but the actual creature is much larger than any cat found in the natural world. It can grow as large as an elephant and has multiple colors of feathers and fur. The Zouwu also has large saber teeth tusks that protrude above the corners of its mouth.
In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, Newt Scamander encountered a captive Zouwu at the Circus Arcanus. Skender, the owner and ringmaster of the circus, got severely mauled by the creature. When it escaped, only Newt was able to calm it down. To him, this fantastic beast was “just a big kitten.”
18 WEAKEST: PIXIE
Pixies are diminutive humanoid creatures with wings and bulbous eyes. Harry Potter and his classmates encountered Cornish Pixies in their second year at Hogwarts. Gilderoy Lockhart brought a cage full of them to his Defense Against the Dark Arts class for a practical demonstration.
Lockhart warned the students that the Pixies were “devilishly tricky little blighters,” and then opened the cage. They wreaked havoc on the class room, ripping up books, breaking glass fixtures, and smashing a skeleton suspended from the ceiling. Lockhart himself decided to hide in his office, bidding Harry Ron and Hermione to round them up. Just two pixies were strong enough to lift Neville Longbottom up by his ears and hang him from a chandelier.
17 MOST POWERFUL: WEREWOLF
Lycanthropy is a terrible affliction in the Harry Potter series. Every month at the full moon, someone with lycanthropy will transform into a wolf-like creature with no awareness of their human character or relationships. Werewolves will attack any humans they encounter, whether they be friend or foe.
Harry and his classmates studied werewolves in their third year at Hogwarts without realizing that their Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher, Remus Lupin, was a werewolf. Lupin was able to contain his condition with the help of the Wolfsbane Potion. But on the night that Peter Pettigrew was revealed and escaped, Lupin had forgotten his potion. Lupin would have mauled Harry, Ron and Hermione if Sirius and Buckbeak had not intervened and driven him off.
16 WEAKEST: NIFFLER
Nifflers are small mole-like magical creatures with long snouts and fluffy coats of fur. They have a prodigious attraction to shiny objects. Nifflers can burrow into the tightest nooks and crannies looking for jewels, coins, or any kind of metal or shiny object. Witches and wizards often use Nifflers to search for lost treasures.
While their ability to unearth riches seems desirable, Nifflers are also capable of wrecking indoor environments. They also tend to hoard whatever they find in a magical, bottomless pouch in their bellies. Newt Scamander had a Niffler that got loose in a bank during his visit to New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. The Niffler had stashed a pile of valuables many times its size in its pouch before Newt recaptured it.
15 MOST POWERFUL: TROLL
Trolls are hulking magical creatures known for their immense strength. They dwell in mountainous regions and sometimes wear analogous human clothing. They are notoriously slow witted, but this can make them even more dangerous sometimes.
In Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts, the two-faced professor Quirrell helped a mountain troll break into the castle during the Halloween Feast. The troll wielded a club and wrecked all of the stalls and sinks in the girl’s bathroom. It could have easily crushed Hermione Granger if Harry Potter and Ron Weasley hadn’t gone to find her. Together, they distracted the troll long enough for Ron to enchant the troll’s club to fall onto its head and knock it out.
14 WEAKEST: BOGGART
Boggarts are closer to spirits than physical entities. They take the form of whatever the person who encounters them fears the most. They can sense the deepest fears of people around them and immediately transform into a manifestation of it. Because of this, no one knows what a boggart really looks like.
In Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts, Professor Lupin made the students face a boggart in a Defense Against the Dark Arts class. As far as we’ve seen, boggarts have no way of inflicting physical harm onto people and don’t hunt or eat them. There was one exception, however, which happened when a boggart took the form of a Dementor in front of Harry Potter. Harry experienced mild versions of the weakness that real Dementors can induce.
13 MOST POWERFUL: ACROMANTULA
Acromantulas are giant arachnid creatures that can grow as large as automobiles. Unlike many other magical creatures, they possess sentience and they can learn human speech. Some believe that Acromantulas might be a wizard-bred species.
During his time as a Hogwarts student, Hagrid kept a baby Acromantula named Aragog as a pet. When Tom Riddle opened the Chamber of Secrets the first time, he framed Hagrid and Aragog, who were expelled and banished to the Forbidden Forest, respectively. Aragog grew and started his own colony of Acromantulas. They are known to feast on human flesh. Despite their size, healthy Acromantulas have proportional strength and agility like any spider, making them fearsome creatures, especially in groups.
12 WEAKEST: KNEAZLE
Crookshanks was Hermione Granger’s feline pet starting in her third year at Hogwarts. Crookshanks always seemed conveniently smart for an ordinary cat. He repeatedly tried to eat Scabbers because he knew that Scabbers wasn’t an ordinary rat. He also knew that Sirius Black’s dog form was an Animagus and he knew exactly how to disable the Whomping Willow by touching the knot in its roots.
Outside sources have revealed that Crookshanks’s keen senses are due to the fact that he is part Kneazle. Kneazles are magical feline creatures with acute perceptions of other people and strong senses of loyalty. Crookshanks has some of the visual characteristics of Kneazles, like a bottlebrush tail and yellow eyes. He is also larger than average cats.
11 MOST POWERFUL: THREE-HEADED DOG
These three-headed canines are gigantic. Having three heads is intimidating enough, but these magical creatures are many times the size of any ordinary dog. Harry, Ron, and Hermione encountered one such creature at Hogwarts in their first year.
The three of them got lost along the third floor corridor and came upon the three-headed dog named Fluffy. Fluffy belonged to Hagrid and was set to guard the entrance to the trap door that led to the room where the Sorcerer’s Stone was hidden. When Fluffy first caught sight of the students, he gave chase immediately, all three of its ferocious maws bearing and snapping and drooling. The only way to soothe Fluffy is by playing music.
10 WEAKEST: AUGUREY
Augureys are solemn looking birds that are occasionally called Irish Phoenixes. They have subdued white, grey, and green plumage and big, expressive eyes. In folklore and in many parts of the Wizarding World, witches and wizards go out of their way to avoid Augureys. Supposedly, the cries of an Augurey foretold the premature passing to whoever wields it.
However, in actuality, Augureys only give their distinctive cries when rain is approaching. Newt Scamander kept several Augureys in his apartment in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and Jacob Kowalski encountered at least one of them. Almost a century later, Lord Voldemort’s daughter Delphi took a great liking to Augureys. Delphi’s caretaker kept an Augurey and she eventually adopted it as her symbol and as a tattoo.
9 MOST POWERFUL: THUNDERBIRD
Thunderbirds are spectacular avian creatures that are native to North America. They appear to have heads reminiscent of eagles. They also have three sets of wings with brilliant gold, blue, and white plumage. Thunderbirds can grow as large a human in height. One of the houses of the wizarding school Ilvermorny is named after the Thunderbird.
In Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Newt Scamander travelled to the United States, ostensibly to release a Thunderbird back into its native habitat of Arizona. Newt rescued the Thunderbird from traffickers in Egypt and named him Frank. Thunderbirds have a keen sense of approaching danger and they can conjure powerful rain and lightning storms in their wake. Newt ultimately decided to release Frank in New York City, taking advantage of its powers to obliviate the muggle inhabitants.
8 WEAKEST: BOWTRUCKLE
Bowtruckles are tree-dwelling creatures made of vines and branches. They only inhabit trees of sufficient quality to produce magical wands, so if you find a tree with Bowtruckles on it, you might want to collect a few samples. Bowtruckles protect whatever trees they decide to live in. They have sharp claws and can hurl bits of tree bark at any trespassers.
Newt Scamander kept a Bowtruckle with him during his visit to New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Named Pickett, Newt's Bowtruckle might have been young since it seemed especially shy and wasn't up to guarding much of anything. Newt kept Picket hidden under the collar of his jacket throughout his adventures. He was adamantly against giving Pickett to Gnarlack, the goblin gangster.
7 MOST POWERFUL: DEMENTOR
Dementors are spectral beings that bring darkness and despair wherever they go. They feed on the emotions of humans and, if they can get close enough, they will suck out a person’s soul. Those who suffer the so-called Dementor’s Kiss are left in a permanent vegetative state.
Traditionally, Dementors have served as the guards of the notorious wizard prison Azkaban. They sap the will of every prisoner by forcing them to continuously relive their worst memories. Anyone who comes close to a Dementor will endure this. Dementors can also attack anyone, innocent or guilty, who crosses their path, since they have a hard time differentiating between people with similar spirits, emotions, and fears. In his third year, Harry Potter learned that the only defense against Dementors was to summon a Patronus charm.
6 WEAKEST: MOONCALF
Mooncalves are shy, rare creatures that only emerge during the night of a full moon. They have stubby legs, webbed feet, and long necks like giraffes. However, they are not very large and are usually only as tall as an average human's waist. Their eyes are huge and bulbous, with their pupils appearing larger than a human’s whole eye. Mooncalf dung is a powerful fertilizer for farmers and gardeners.
Newt Scamander hand a herd of mooncalves in his suitcase when he visited New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Jacob Kowalski even got to feed them when Newt showed him inside. They seem quite harmless and they even have a primary predator in Hodags.
5 MOST POWERFUL: BASILISK
A Basilisk is a colossal serpentine creature with many lethal properties and powers. It can grow more than fifty feet long and can bite its prey with teeth as long as swords. Direct eye contact with a Basilisk will snuff out its victim instantaneously. Basilisk venom is extremely dangerous, capable of ending a person’s life in minutes. Indirect eye contact with a Basilisk will petrify its victim.
The most famous Basilisk was the Serpent of Slytherin. After Salazar Slytherin left the other Hogwarts founders, he built the Chamber of Secrets and hid a Basilisk inside. Slytherin’s heir, Tom Riddle, commanded the Basilisk through Parseltongue to wake it from its slumber and attack the Muggle-born students of Hogwarts.
4 WEAKEST: CHUPACABRA
The Chupacabra is a small creature of reptilian or amphibious nature. They are known to suck blood from heedless victims. When the Magical Congress of the United States of America imprisoned Gellert Grindelwald in 1926, a Chupacabra found its way into his cell. Grindelwald managed to win the creature’s affections and urge it to attack the Aurors who guarded him.
Unfortunately for the Chupacabra, Grindelwald didn’t care to keep him around. As the dark wizard makes his escape, he holds the creature in his hands for a moment and then tosses him out of his carriage window. Even naming the Chupacabra Antonio wasn’t a sign that Grindelwald valued the creature after it served its purpose apparently.
3 MOST POWERFUL: PHOENIX
Phoenixes are magical birds bearing stunning red and gold plumage. They have many powerful magical properties. At the end of their lives, their feathers wilt until they burst into flame. However, once they burn away, they are are reborn from their ashes.
Phoenixes can carry immensely heavy loads, including multiple fully grown humans. Their feathers are powerful enough on their own to make one of the most common wand core substances. The tears of a Phoenix also have powerful restorative properties. When Fawkes cried over Harry’s mortal wound from the Basilisk fang, his cut fully healed. Fawkes showed great loyalty to Dumbledore, and to those like Harry who were also loyal to Dumbledore. The battle against the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets would have been lost without Fawkes.
2 WEAKEST: PYGMY PUFFS
Fred and George Weasley concocted numerous original magical toys and tricks when they opened their own shop in Diagon Alley, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. One of their creations was actually a magical creature. Pygmy Puffs are miniature Puffskeins.
Just about everyone in the Wizarding World regarded them as adorable pets, so, of course, the Weasley twins bred them with thick soft fur coats of pink and purple shades that could grow many times the size of the creature itself. George even remarked that they couldn’t breed the Pygmy Puffs fast enough to meet demand. Pygmy Puffs are basically harmless, since they don’t have fangs like some of their non-domesticated counterparts. Ginny Weasley bought a purple Pygmy Puff and named it Arnold.
1 MOST POWERFUL: DRAGON
Dragons exist in myths and legends throughout the world in various forms. Almost every region of the magical world has a native species of dragons. However, they are all powerful, dangerous creatures with immense strength, fire breath, and great wingspans.
Despite their danger, the Wizarding World tries to keep up a working relationship with dragons. One dragon lurked in the depths of Gringotts' vaults, protecting the gold stored there. Hagrid successfully hatched a Ridgeback in Harry, Ron and Hermione’s first year at Hogwarts. In Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, he had to face a fully grown Horntail. The Tri-wizard Tournament procured four different dragons that were selected at random for the champions to face as part of their first task. Defeating a dragon is no easy feat for any wizard, regardless of their skill level.
Are there any other powerful (or weak) magical creatures from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comment section!