For a lot of reasons, Peter Pettigrew, AKA "Wormtail", may be one of the creepiest characters in all of the Harry Potter series. First and foremost, is the rather strange decision on the part of author J.K. Rowlings, to make Pettigrew's animagus form hang around so closely with a preteen Ronald Weasley. With that particularly large elephant out of the room, we can get into some of the more unnerving, crazy, and interesting facts about this Voldemort supporter.
Everyone knows Wormtail to be the man who betrayed Lily and James Potter's location to Voldemort, who sought to destroy them and their newborn son after finding out that Harry may one day defeat him. Although Voldemort's attempt on Harry's life backfired (quite literally), this moment it did cement Wormtail as one of Tom Riddle's most famous supporters. In addition to this, Wormtail also got away with it all by blaming Sirius Black for that horrible night.
In many ways, Wormtail was the most unlikely member of Voldemort's inner circle. He didn't have the dedication to Voldemort's evil agenda that Lucius Malfoy did. Nor did he have the obsessive nature of the deranged Bellatrix Lestrange. At the end of the day, Wormtail was a coward, and that why he let betrayed his friends to become part of one of the darkest cults of all time. Despite all he has done, Wormtail was still a far more engaging character than most fans may recall.
Without further ado, here are 20 Crazy Facts About Wormtail.
20 He Was Almost Not Sorted Into Gryffindor
When Peter Pettigrew arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he lined up with the rest of the First Years to await The Sorting Hat's decision on which House he would join. While in line, he met both Sirius Black, who uttered his contempt for Slytherin House, and James Potter. Immediately, Pettigrew took a liking to these boys and longed to be Sorted with them.
When he finally was placed under The Sorting Hat, Pettigrew waited a whole five minutes to be placed in Gryffindor.
This is what was called a "Hatstall." The Sorting Hat clearly saw that this character was suitable for more than one house. Although Slytherin would be the obvious alternative choice, Hufflepuff was one as well.
19 He Was A Member Of The Order Of The Phoenix
Due to Peter Pettigrew's friendship with James, Remus, and Sirius, he joined The Order of the Phoenix after his time at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The Order of the Phoenix was a secret society founded by Albus Dumbledore to combat Voldemort and his sycophantic followers during the First Wizarding War. This was the time when Voldemort returned from traveling abroad and sought to overthrow the Ministry of Magic and persecute Muggles and Muggle-born magical folk. Although Pettigrew wasn't a fan of Voldemort's ideology, he was part of the Order purely because his friends were. It was a community for him. He did not have the same passion for the cause as the other members did.
18 He Wasn't A True Believer In Voldemort
Much like Peter Pettigrew wasn't a true believer in the Order of the Phoenix, he wasn't one of Voldemort's dedicated followers either. He did not share the same lust for dominance over the Wizarding World, nor the same level of intolerance.
When Pettigrew became a spy for Voldemort, it was purely out of fear.
Wormtail, at the end of the day, is an opportunist. He is someone who will do just about anything to survive, and that included betraying his best friends in order to remain on the powerful dark wizard's good side. In many instances, especially in the books, Wormtail even couldn't bear Voldemort's violence and occasionally attempted to suggest alternative measures to achieve his dark desire.
17 McGonagall Didn't Like Him, even as a kid
If there's one thing that Minerva McGonagall has never done, it's mince words. First and foremost, this Transfiguration professor and Gryffindor Head of House is brutally honest. In the books, she was honest about how she felt about Peter Pettigrew during his time at Hogwarts.
Of course, McGonagall taught him Transfiguration as well as watched over him as the H.O.H. She claimed that Pettigrew "hero-worshipped" both James Potter and Sirius Black. In fact, she even described him as a "lump of a boy" who constantly followed Sirius around like his lap-dog. She even claimed that Peter was "stupid" as well as "foolish." However, Minerva clearly grew to have some respect for him once he joined the Order. She even spoke sadly about him before she learned that he was the one responsible for the betrayal and not Sirius.
16 He Lived As A Rat For 12 Years
As most fans know, Peter Pettigrew was one of the Mauraders, the small group of friends that consisted of James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin. Peter even decided to become an animagus in order to make Remus feel more comfortable with the fact that he was tragically turned into a werewolf. The fact that Pettigrew could turn into a rat at will was something that came in handy after he was forced to fake his own demise in order to properly frame Sirius Black.
Due to his fear of being caught, Pettigrew lived as a rat for a solid 12 years.
He was eventually discovered by Sirius and Remus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
15 He Chose The Weasleys As Owners To Avoid The Death Eaters
After Pettigrew faked his demise, he chose to live as a rat in order to both keep up his lie as well as to avoid the Death Eaters. At this stage, many of Voldemort's followers were unknown to the authorities and lived amongst the common-folk. Due to the fact that Voldemort's apparent demise happened due to Pettigrew's information, the Death Eaters believed that Pettigrew was a traitor and therefore sought to destroy him.
Wormtail knew that he stood a better chance at staying alive if he picked a "good" family to stay with. Eventually, he came to be Percy Weasley's possession and was handed down to Ron. Presumably, Wormtail (as "Scabbers") stayed with the Weasleys because he knew that the family would treat him right as well as shield him from Voldemort's secret followers.
14 He Almost Ruined Ron And Hermione's Relationship
Although Wormtail didn't mean to, he almost completely ruined Hermione and Ron's friendship in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Throughout the book and the film (to a lesser extent), Ron was constantly trying to save Scabbers (AKA Wormtail) from Hermione's carnivorous new cat, Crookshanks. When Wormtail heard that Sirius Black had escaped from Azkaban and was poking around the Hogwarts grounds, he decided to flee, faking his demise a second time.
In the book, he bit himself in order to leave blood that suggested that Crookshanks had finally taken him out.
It completely convinced Ron, and the pair's relationship nearly ended until the truth was revealed. This is just another instance of Peter Pettigrew doing anything necessary to remain alive.
13 Rats helped him find Voldemort
A lot of fans of Harry Potter who haven't paid close enough detail to the books wonder how Wormtail and Voldemort were reunited before the events of The Goblet of Fire. Well, the truth is Wormtail learned from fellow rats that a dark force was living in a forest in Albania. This force ended up being Voldemort himself, who was living off the animals in the forest. However, Voldemort was just clinging to life in his shriveled-up form.
Wormtail lured a prominent ministry witch, who was on vacation in Albania, into the forest and then proceeded to force information out of her that helped persuade Voldemort to take him back into his good graces.
12 He Fed Voldemort Nagini's Milk to Save Him
Aside from finding Lord Voldemort in a forest in Albania and giving him some vital information about the upcoming Triwizard Tournament from the ministry official he lured into the forest, Wormtail also stayed in Voldemort's good graces due to the fact that he kept him alive. At this point, Voldemort was simply a shriveled up humanoid creature who barely had any power at all.
With Wormtail's help, he managed to stay strong enough to last until the end of The Goblet of Fire when he was "reborn."
Wormtail was able to do this because he milked the venom out of Nagini, Voldemort's giant snake who will appear in human form in Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This venom provided Voldemort with the rudimentary body we see in Goblet of Fire.
11 He Helped Capture Mad-Eye
When Wormtail traveled to Albania to seek Voldemort, he ran into a ministry official who he forced into telling him legitimate information about the goings on at Hogwarts. This included the upcoming Triwizard Tournament that they would get Harry Potter to take part in, as well as the fact that Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody would be the next Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.
Another piece of information this ministry official gave was that there was a Voldemort supporter hiding out in England. This ended up being Barty Crouch Jr., who, with the help of Wormtail, tracked down Mad-Eye Moody and captured him. Crouch then famously continued to take locks of Mad-Eye's hair in order to brew a Polyjuice Potion that turned him into Mad-Eye.
10 Snape Got His Revenge On Pettigrew
As we found out through various flashbacks during Harry's time learning legilimency from Severus Snape, Severus was teased and pushed around by Harry's father, Lupin, Sirius, and Peter Pettigrew as a child. Pettigrew probably wouldn't have been the one to instigate this, but he was happy to play along with what the "cool kids" were doing. That, after all, was sort of his M.O. However, in their later years, Snape got his revenge on Wormtail after Voldemort ordered Wormtail to live with Snape at Spinner's End in order to help him with various things.
Wormtail ended up being Snape's punching bag and personal servant.
In fact, Snape treated him quite poorly, which, without a doubt had more to do with Wormtail betraying Lily Potter than anything else.
9 Voldemort Loathed Him
Lord Voldemort may not have had the ability to love anything except for himself, and even that is arguable, but he certainly had some appreciation and respect for certain members of his cult. At one time, he had immense respect for Lucius Malfoy, but that went away after Lucius continued to fail him. Bellatrix and Snape seem to be in his good graces constantly as they appeared to be his most ardent supporters. Snape, specifically, was the one he thought was infiltrating Dumbledore and the Order.
Wormtail is a different story entirely. Voldemort never liked Wormtail at all. He put up with him because Wormtail helped to keep him alive. But even before Voldemort's first downfall, the villain knew that Wormtail was only around out of fear, not out of duty or respect.
8 He Wasn't Skilled At Magic
Throughout the course of the Harry Potter series, two very different powerful magical folk made comments on Wormtail's lack of power. The first was Wormtail's old Transfiguration teacher, Minerva McGonagall, who claimed that he was far less talented than his friends when it came to magic. Then there's Voldemort, who always regarded his servant as particularly weak. The truth is, they were mostly right about him.
He was a hopeless dueler, only besting opponents when catching them off-guard.
However, there are a couple of instances where he's shown more potential than even he believed. One of these moments was when he caused an explosion that ended the lives of twelve Muggles and allowed him to get away from Sirius Black.
7 He Was Surprisingly Intelligent And An Opportunist
You can say a lot about Peter Pettigrew, including his cowardly demeanor, but one thing you can't say is that he was dumb. On the contrary, Wormtail was actually pretty intelligent. This cunning helped him frame Sirius for the crime that he committed, as well as search out Voldemort.
Wormtail's intelligence also allowed him to be quite the opportunist. This trait perhaps sums him up the most, as from the start of things he knew how to get in with the "right" crowd. When the tides changed and there was a better group to be associated with, that's exactly where Wormtail would end up. A fool wouldn't be able to navigate situations like this, let alone stay on Voldemort's good side.
6 The Other Death Eaters Didn't Like Him
Being an opportunist didn't quite go over well when it came to Voldemort's closest servants. First of all, many of them, including Bellatrix Lestrange, were there because they either believed in Voldemort's cause or Voldemort himself.
Many of these Death Eaters saw Wormtail as a clinger; someone who was merely there to survive and never truly fought for what they believed in.
Another major source of the dislike the Death Eaters had for Wormtail had to do with Voldemort's first downfall. This event happened on Wormtail's information. When Voldemort was seemingly annihilated after attacking Harry Potter, many Death Eaters saw Wormtail as a traitor who purposefully led Voldemort to his grave.
5 His Hand Was Cursed
Although the filmmakers behind the Harry Potter movies didn't explore Wormtail's silver hand, it was certainly talked about in detail in J.K. Rowling's novels. Wormtail first got this magical silver hand after he severed it from his body while resurrecting Voldemort in The Goblet of Fire. However, it came with a catch.
The catch with Wormtail's replacement hand was that it was cursed. Sure, the hand had magical properties, including being impervious to certain jinxes, but it also led to his downfall. Though Wormtail didn't receive a proper final scene in the films, his demise in the books occurred when he was planning to do good on his "life debt" to Harry. Wormtail's magical hand turned on him, wrapped around his neck, and took his life.
4 He was insecure about his body
Every single person on the planet has their own set of insecurities. This is true of all of the characters within J.K. Rowling's masterful series. For Wormtail, it was his stature. Not only was his short height an issue for him, but his weight and shape particularly bothered him. He no doubt compared himself to the more traditionally handsome James Potter and Sirius Black while growing up.
Due to actor Timothy Spall's height, Wormtail was portrayed a taller than he was in the books.
However, when he first appeared in Prisoner of Azkaban, he was around the same height as a 13 and 14-year-old Harry and Hermione. Both Harry and Hermione would grow to be taller, while Pettigrew remained the same height.
3 He Was Made More Rat-Like For The Films
J.K. Rowlings described Peter Pettigrew has had some of the qualities of a rat, especially after living as one for a solid twelve years. These traits included watery eyes, grubby skin, a pointed nose, and even a squeaky voice that followed him after he revealed himself in The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron wanted to make sure audiences absolutely knew that Pettigrew would have maintained some of his rat-like qualities after his twelve-year stint. These added details included extra nostril hair, knuckle hair, two big teeth, and a consistency between Scabbers' fur and Wormtail's locks. Hiding his neck with the right coat also made Wormtail's rat-like look more believable. These details also came in handy for Wormtail's visual transition back into his animagus form as he escaped.
2 He Took Voldemort's Wand
Wormtail didn't keep his distance the day after Voldemort's downfall in Godric's Hollow. He made sure he was nearby as he hoped his information would be useful. Voldemort, of course, wanted to take out a young Harry Potter due to the prophecy that stated that the boy could lead to his demise. Unfortunately for Voldemort, his attempt on Harry's life backfired and he was practically disintegrated.
Wormtail deduced this once he came across the rubble of the house. He then found Voldemort's iconic phoenix-feathered wand and took it for safe keeping.
He later gave it back to Voldemort once he was strong enough to use it once more.
There's no telling where exactly Wormtail stored the wand while living as a rat for twelve years.
1 His Demise Was Connected To The Marauders
Wormtail's connection to the Marauders, Lupin (Mooney), Sirius (Padfoot), and James (Prongs) was fully realized the day that he met his end. This is because Wormtail's demise (at least in the book) was very similar to those of his three classmates.
All four of them, in one way or another, passed away while trying to protect or save Harry.
James met his end at the hands of Lord Voldemort that day in Godric's Hollow. Sirius was protecting Harry when he was struck by Bellatrix's curse. Lupin fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, giving Harry a moment to escape from Dolohov, who was later revealed to have taken Lupin out. Finally, Wormtail's cursed hand turned on him the moment he was about to let Harry go, honoring his life-debt.
What do you think is the craziest fact about Wormtail in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below!