When you’re a wizard and live in a world where danger can be found on every corner, you might need something more than your knowledge of spells, a magic wand and sometimes even luck. Wizards need something that even they might struggle with which only shows the strength of this magical entity.
A Patronus is a shield between a wizard and a Dementor. It is a projection of someone good, a protector that can have everything a Dementor feeds upon. But it can’t feel fear and despair like humans and therefore it is the best protection against Dementors. It can be corporeal and non-corporeal and a wizard must learn how to summon it.
Being a shield between a wizard and a Dementor, Patronus is extremely important and necessary in many situations in the series. It takes a lot of practice and concentration, but once you manage it, you can be certain that you are somewhat more secure. Harry Potter was pretty young when he learned to cast a corporeal Patronus at the age of 13. Professor Lupin taught him how to cast his Patronus which comes in the form of a stag.
The ability to learn how to cast a Patronus and later perform it depends on the skill of a witch or a wizard. Each witch or wizard Patronus has its own form which can be changed only on specific occasions. Many wizards and witches have never accomplished casting a Patronus.
But in this article, we are not going to deal with that. We are going to take a look at Patronuses themselves. These are all Harry Potter Patronuses and their meaning. Some will be only mentioned and some explained thoroughly.
All Harry Potter Patronouses Explained
This nocturnal mammal lives in Africa and it is one possible corporeal of the Patronus charm. This middle sized burrowing animal is an insectivore, has a short tail and a pig-like snout which it uses for sniffing out food. In African aardvark means “earth pig”. They live mostly alone, sleep in their burrows during the day and come out at night in search of food. They are color blind and have poor vision, which slightly improves when night comes.
Abraxan was a pretty rare possible form of a corporeal Patronus Charm. It was a breed of a winged horse, white colored and very strong and impressive. They looked like palomino horses and were used as ingredients for potion making. They were gigantic and powerful and used and bred to perform many difficult tasks. In the movie, they had grey coats instead of palomino coats and were brought to school by Madame Olympe Maxime.
Adder is a common European viber, brown colored and pretty small. It is very widespread and can be found in many parts of Western Europe and even East Asia. It is a venomous snake that prefers woodland, heathland and moorland habitats. In Harry Potter, it was first introduced through flashback in The Half-Blood Prince when Morfin Gaunt held a live adder when Bob Ogden visited the Gaunt Shack.
Albatross is a large, white seabird that mostly resides in the North Pacific and the Southern Ocean. The wingspan of an average adult can range up to 3,7m which makes it the longest of any bird. They are a spectacular sight to see, sometimes very close to the sea surface. They drink sea water as do some other sea birds. Some albatross species have been hunted for feathers which were then used to make women’s hats.
One of the most important animals in the Harry Potter world. It is the mascot of Hufflepuff House and an excellent representative of its house. There are many similarities between this animal and one of the four houses. Badger is often under-estimated and taken for granted. But they simply don’t attack until provoked. When finally attacked they can get very protective and never give up a fight. In the Battle of Hogwarts Hufflepuff was outnumbered only by the House of Gryffindor.
Basset Hound is a short-legged dog with long ears. It was bred as a hunting dog, since their sense of smell is extremely strong. Basset Hounds are very lovable animals, tenacious and friendly. Gentle, devoted and affectionate, they are a good choice for a family dog, but they need to be trained carefully since they tend to be stubborn and their hunting urge is still pretty strong.
Bats are nocturnal animals that feed on insects and fruit. They are flying mammals and can be found in many parts of the world. They live more than 30 years and can fly at speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. Some bats hibernate during the winter months and when they are not hunting they sleep in caves. There are more than 1200 pieces of bats. The Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley sold bats.
Bay horse got its name thanks to its bay coat color, reddish-brown with black point coloration of the mane, tail, ear edges and lower legs. It is the most common horse coat color. In Harry Potter female and male bay horses, the Bay mare and Bay stallion are possible corporeal forms of Patronus Charm.
Beagles are small dogs native to England, very intelligent animals and some of the most beloved pets. They are small, bright and can be found in various color combinations. They were bred as hunting dogs due to their excellent scent. Nowadays, beagles are some of the most famous family dogs since they are affectionate and independent and enjoy the company of other people.
Bears are one of the largest carnivores living on land. They are huge animals, widespread and can be found in many habitats, mostly in the Northern hemisphere. Most bears sleep during the winter months, but they don’t actually hibernate. They can climb trees and run and swim with great ease, despite their bulk.
Black cats are some of the most common cats, widespread and very often taken as pets. There are many associations between black cats and folklore. In Great Britain and Ireland they are a sign of good luck, but in many Slavic countries, they represent bad luck, when seen crossing the street in front of someone. They are also always one of the greatest connections to witchcraft in general.
Black Mamba is an extremely venomous snake, native to Africa. It can be all black, but its colors vary from light grey to black. It commonly grows up to 3 meters and is the second – longest poisonous snake after the king cobra.
This small, black bird is due to its coloring often a symbol of magic, mystery and death. They are often sacred to Gods and Goddesses in myth, Tricksters and Shamans. Many consider them to be their spirit animals.
Boar is a known corporeal Patronus. One of the Hufflepuff wizards, Ernie MacMillan, was able to summon it. He managed to summon it for the first time during a meeting with Dumbledore’s Army in 1996 and then again during the Battle of Hogwarts. It was when Lord Voldemort and Dementors attacked Hogwarts and its inhabitants.
Brown owl was one of several species of owls sold at Eeylops Owl Emporium. It was the animal that Harry Potter used to send Sirius Black a letter to inform him about the events he had seen and heard. A brown owl also delivered Hermione the Hate Mail after the publication of the article “Harry Potter’s secret Heartache”.
Cats were kept as pets by both muggles and wizards, being one of the most beloved pets, especially among children. Along with toads and owls, cats were allowed in Hogwarts. Hermione brought her own cat with her and Hagrid was allergic to them and grew a slight dislike towards this interesting animal.
McGonagall’s Patronus was a cat and even professor Umbridge had a Persian cat Patronus. This Patronus is described as watchful and loyal.
Cheetahs are big cats native to Africa, big and strong, with orange coats with black dots. They are incredibly fast and in the Harry Potter world also one of the possible corporeal forms of the Patronus Charms. At an International Symposium of Animagi some of the students transformed into their animagus forms among, which included cheetahs as well.
Crows are black birds related to ravens, believed to have lived in Hagrid’s pumpkin patch in the 1993/1994 school year. Many times we have witnessed crows around Hogwarts and its students and from 2017 crows were allowed there as pets. A famous Irish witch, Morrigan, was an Animagus and could turn into a crow.
One of the most important forms of a Patronus charm in Harry Potter was a deer, since all members of Harry’s family had a deer as their Patronus. Harry’s stag was widely known. The meaning of a stag is heroic and brave.
It also represents rebirth and resurrection, as stag’s antlers fall off and regrow every year. James Potter was also an Animagus who could turn into a deer.
Professor Snape’s Patronus was a doe, just like Lily Potter’s. This was a sign of his great love for Lily and it persisted long after her death. It is also a Patronus of protection. This Patronus is a symbol of care and nurture with a high level of intuition and sensitivity.
Dolphins are highly intelligent aquatic mammals who are possible forms of a Patronus Charm. They are native to worldwide oceans and belong to the family of toothed whales. They are mostly small and widely known for their grace, playfulness and friendliness to humans. They can live in either salt or fresh waters.
Along with cats, dogs were also common among muggles and wizards. Many different types of dogs and their magical subtypes could be seen in Harry Potter sequels. We saw three-headed dogs, Gytrash and Grim. And Ron Weasley’s Patronus also took the form of a Jack Russell Terrier, a breed of hunting dogs.
Even though dragons were a rare form of a Patronus Charm, they are very important in the world of Harry Potter. They were one of the most dangerous creatures in the wizarding world, but still, there were brave individuals who were trained to work with them. They were called the dragon keepers. Hagrid adored them and Ron’s brother Charlie was on the dragon trainers in Romania.
Dragonfly is a possible corporeal form of a Patronus Charm and a pretty important flying insect in the wizarding world. They are particularly susceptible to some curses and jinxes and their thorax is used by wizards as a potion ingredient.
Eagle was the mascot of Ravenclaw House and their feathers have sometimes been used as quills. The body of a Hippogriff was half-horse and half-eagle and the body of a Griffin was half-lion and half-eagle. Animagus Talbot Winger could take the form of an eagle.
Eagle owls were kept as pets and one of the most famous families to have them was the Malfoy family. Their feathers had magical healing properties and therefore often used in potions. They can also be bought in Diagon Alley.
The biggest living mammal on Earth is native to Africa and Asia. Hedley Fleetwood had a Patronus in the form of a woolly mammoth, an extinct species of elephant. This wasn’t very common, but elephants were a possible corporeal form of a Patronus Charm. Aragog size was compared to a baby elephant’s.
The erumpent was a huge African magical beast, also qualified as a beast by The Ministry of Magic. It was a rare possible corporeal form of a Patronus Charm, but as an animal pretty useful, since some of their parts, such as horns, tails and exploding fluid were used in potions.
Falcons are birds of prey, similar to eagles, but much smaller. They are also a possible form of a Patronus Charm and a tea symbol found in Tessomancy which meant that the individual connected to the symbol would face a deadly enemy. The ancient Greek wizard Falco Aesalon was an Animagus who could turn into a falcon.
Fire Dwelling Salamander
Fire dwelling salamanders are interesting creatures that were studied at Hogwarts. Their blood is very powerful and it was used in some potions due to its regenerative and curative properties.
Foxes, along with deers, are non magical creatures that inhabit the Forbidden Forest. Native to Great Britain and widely spread there, it isn’t of any surprise that one of the students had their form as his Patronus. Seamus Finnigan’s Patronus took the form of a fox during the Battle of Hogwarts. This Patronus is connected to wisdom.
Granian was a type of a winged horse, a rare corporeal form of a Patronus Charm. They were grey and very fast and their hair was used in potion making. Like other winged horses, it was also described as a beast by the Ministry of Magic.
Goats are one of the oldest domestic animals. In Harry Potter, this animal is related to Dumbledore’s family, since his family kept goats when he and his brother were kids. Aberforth is afterward known for his somewhat unusual affection for goats. His Patronus was in the form of a goat. Hagrid hid his goat pets on the grounds. A Patronus in the form of a goat is described as kind.
This small, fast animal was a Patronus to two important witches, Luna Lovegood and Nymphadora Tonks, who later changed it to a wolf due to her great love for Remus Lupin.
The meaning of this Patronus is adaptable and quick-witted.
Hedgehogs are tiny animals covered in spikes and a possible corporeal form of the Patronus Charm. Kevin Farrel’s Patronus was a hedgehog. There’s a legend that says that a wizard Thaddeus Thurkell turned his seven children into hedgehogs after finding out they were squibs.
A hippogriff was a huge magical beast with wings, front legs and a head of a giant eagle and the body, tail and hind legs of a horse. He was similar to a griffin. Some wizards had a job as fancy hippogriff breeders, such as Newt Scamander’s mother. They were stubborn, but loveable creatures who gave their affection only to the ones they thought worthy.
This elegant, noble animal was Ginny Weasley’s Patronus. They are related to winged horses, unicorns and centaurs, all being magical forms of horses in the wizarding world. This Patronus is described as passionate.
These birds are native to New World birds. A hummingbird was kept in a Bell Jar of Time in the Time Room and released during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Lottie Turner’s corporeal Patronus was a hummingbird.
This special type of rabbit was the first corporeal Patronus of Nimphadora Tonks. She cast it for the first time during her period in Hogwarts somewhere in the 1980s. She later changed it to a wolf. They were named after the shape of their ears, initially referred to as jackass rabbits. Mark Twain used this name in his book Roughing It.
Jack Russell terrier
This small, cheerful dog is famous in Harry Potter as Ron Weasley’s Patronus. He first used it in a meeting with Dumbledore’s Army. It has the meaning of someone stubborn, wilful and loyal. There is a magical creature called crup which is described as very similar to a Jack Russell terrier, only with a forked tail.
It is one of the possible corporeal forms of a Patronus Charm. An enormous animal that lives in the world’s oceans. It is a part of a dolphin family and its largest member. Killer whales are marine mammals.
Leopards are big cats related to lions and tigers and native to Africa and Asia. Jacob’s sibling had seven possible Patronus forms and leopard was one of them. Their size can vary, but they can grow much larger than the average of 110 to 200 pounds and 84 inches in length, excluding their tail.
An important animal in the Harry Potter world. This big carnivorous predator was a mascot of Gryffindor House. It represents chivalry and courage, which were the two most famous Gryffindor traits. The body or head of a lion were parts of many magical creatures such as Sphinxes and Manticores.
This medium sized wild cat is native to Eurasia and North America. It was Kingsley Shackelbolt’s Patronus and it appeared in 1997 at Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour’s wedding warning them of the fall of the Ministry of Magic.
A middle sized bird related to a crow, the magpie is an intelligent creature that is one of the few non-mammal animals which can recognize itself in the mirror. Eurasian magpies are among the most intelligent creatures in the world. George and Fred Weasley’s Patronuses were magpies. Pretty understandable when we take their wits and smarts into account. The description of their Patronus is therefore intelligent and curious.
Minks are small carnivorous animals related to the same family as ferrets, weasels and otters. There are two extant species referred to as mink, European and American. Their fur is often used as clothing, and very often a really expensive one.
Mice are small animals, related to rats, belonging to the rodent order. They can be very often seen in Harry Potter books and movies and even a part of Sybill Trelawney’s lectures where she taught about Myomancy, the branch of Division, involving mice and rats.
This was a magical beast native to the Far East and India. It was similar to a serpent, but with wings and two legs. It could grow or shrink to fit different available spaces. Newt Scamander had a number of occamies in his suitcase when he visited New York in 1926. They were described as extremely aggressive and classified as beasts by the Ministry of Magic.
These big apes are native to the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia. There’s an interesting creature in the world of Harry Potter called clabbert, a magical beast that lived in trees and resembled both frogs and orangutans.
This semi-aquatic middle sized mammal was Hermione Granger’s Patronus. It is unknown which exact species, but it has a great significance. J.K.Rowling stated it as her favorite animal and therefore the reason why she chose it for Hermione’s Patronus. In the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione’s Patronus was in the form of a Eurasian otter.
It represents someone curious and friendly which can be seen with Hermione’s Patronus. The otter was seen moving freely and carelessly, reflecting Granger’s often unseen side.
Very important animals in the Harry Potter world. These nocturnal animals usually keep to themselves, but in Harry Potter J.K.Rowling gave them a very important role. They had many different personalities and were depicted as intelligent creatures who understand English and can communicate with wizards and witches. Their main role was to carry letters from wizard to wizard.
Peacocks are big birds native to Asia, famous for their beautiful colorful feathers. Garrick Olivander owned a pet peacock by the 1900s. Gilderoy Lockhart used his peacock quill for signing autographs and their feathers were also used to cure sick dragons. Peacocks are not always full of color. Lucius Malfoy owned several albino peacocks.
This type of cat was Dolores Umbridge’s Patronus. It has a short muzzle and a round face. These cats were popular among Muggles and wizards and many first year students at Hogwarts brought them as their pets.
Birds with brilliant plumage can often be seen around wizards in Harry Potter. Hagrid hung pheasant on his hunt and some quills have also been made of pheasant feathers. It is a type of a bird, native to Great Britain and related to a peacock.
One of the most important animals in the Harry Potter world, this bird is a rare corporeal form of a Patronus Charm. It is Dumbledore’ Patronus, an immortal creature that fascinates with its beautiful feathers and ability to rise from its ashes. Therefore their meaning is rebirth. But they also symbolize strength, wisdom and power on one side and loneliness on the other.
Dumbledore described them as extremely loyal and they were known to come to help the ones similar to them. That’s why Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes arrived and helped Harry slay the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.
These highly endangered animals native to the Arctic circle and dependent on sea ice are also possible forms of a Patronus Charm. Robyn Thistlethwaite’s Patronus was a polar bear. They are huge carnivorous animals that are faced with extinction.
Polecat is used as a name for mammals in several species with some similarities such as a dark marking across the face. During the final match of the first quidditch game between Transylvania and Flanders, a chaser was transfigured into a polecat.
Pythons are so called constricting snakes and are related to boa constructors. Therefore they need to be mentioned since we first find out about Harry Potter being a Parselmouth when he wakes up next to a giant boa constructor. They are very big and often not a pleasant sight to see, but they are not dangerous, since they lack fangs and venom.
Rabbits are small mammals related to hares and can be found anywhere in the world. Both rabbit and wild rabbit are a possible corporeal form of a Patronus Charm. These animals are often used in Hogwarts in classes, to perform spells or as parts of ones. Lavender Brown’s pet was a male rabbit Binky.
Rats are verminous rodents, larger than mice and their body parts such as the spleen and their tails are often used in potions. They are given to dragons as rewards for good behavior. Ron Weasley’s pet was a rat named Scabbers, which later proved to be an Animagus, named Peter Pettigrew, better known as Wormtail.
These big, black birds are common as pets in both muggle and wizarding households, but much more preferred in the latter. Raven was the family emblem of the Lestrange family. In the Harry Potter movies, a raven is the mascot of Ravenclaw House, but in the books, their mascot is the eagle.
This large, herbivorous animal with a big horn is native to Southeast Asia and Africa. It is known as a Patronus of Colby Frey. They are solitary animals who don’t like large groups and prefer to spend time alone. They are a highly endangered species. They have poor eyesight, but can hear and smell perfectly.
A very interesting, although rare corporeal form of a Patronus charm. It is a magical three-headed snake native to Burkina Faso. Their eggs were used in some potions and they used to be related to dark wizards. The Ministry of Magic characterized them as beasts. Newt Scamander carried two runespoors in his suitcase in 1926.
This big, dangerous, carnivorous fish wasn’t seen in Harry Potter as Patronus as its possible form, but we witnessed Viktor Krum’s partially transfigure into one during the Triwizard Tournament. It was necessary to accomplish the second task of the competition. The Dukuwaga is a mascot of the Fijian National Quidditch team. This magical creature can shape-shift between the forms of a shark and a human.
A snake or a serpent is one of the most important creatures in the Harry Potter world. This often venomous, dangerous reptile is a mascot of the Slytherin House. Its founder Salazar Slytherin was a Parcelmouth, therefore able to communicate with snakes and wanted to make it known. There are many magical species that exist in the wizarding world.
Some of the most famous are the Ashwinder, the Horned Serpent and the Sea Serpent. But the scariest and most feared was the Basilisk. This gigantic monster caused so much trouble to Harry and his friends and everyone at Hogwarts that the mention of its name makes our skin crawl.
Snowy Owl is a large, white owl native to North America. The most famous snowy owl in the Harry Potter world is Harry’s pet Hedwig. Hagrid bought it for Harry’s birthday in Eeylops Owl Emporium. Other two snowy owls in the series are Brodwin and Temeritus Shank’s Owl.
These beautiful, large white birds are known corporeal forms of a Patronus Charm. Cho Chang was capable of conjuring a Patronus in the form of a swan and Tablott Winger’s mother was an Animagus who took the form of a white swan. The Phoenix, one of the most precious magical birds, as compared to a swan in its size. This Patronus means grace and transformation.
These interesting magical animals were breeds of winged horses. They were native to the British Isles. These animals were feared and often viewed as omens of misfortune since they were visible only to the ones who had witnessed death at least once.
They were classified as beasts and therefore only experienced magicians could handle them. Harry has seen a Thestral for the first time after witnessing the death of Cedric Diggory. Many other witches and wizards were also able to see them, such as Albus Dumbledore, Luna Lovegood and Severus Snape.
Another magical creature which can be found as someone’s Patronus, rather rarely. Constance Pickering’s Patronus was a unicorn. Unicorns were white horses with a horn sticking out of their head. They were always related to the magic world, since magicians weren’t as good at keeping them a secret.
They inhabited the European forests, including the Forbidden Forest near Hogwarts. They were extremely fast, noble and mild tempered. They were described as sacred and pure animals. Drinking their blood is a heinous crime and at least two unicorns were slain by Professor Quirrel so that Lord Voldemort could do it and return his power.
These rodents are probably owl’s favorite food. They are similar to mice, but with stouter bodies and smaller heads. They have a hairy tail and a round head and are often given to other animals as food or simply hunted by them. They are a possible corporeal form of a Patronus Charm.
Vultures are species of birds, scavengers, ones that feed on dead animals. Their heads are devoid of feathers. They can be found worldwide and in the Harry Potter world, they could be often seen stuffed and worn as hats.
Weasels are small predatory animals with long and slender bodies, often portrayed as malevolent and cunning. It is said that the surname Weasley derives from weasel and J.K. Rowling once explained that she always loved these animals and therefore made a connection between them and this lovable family. She never saw them as malevolent, rather contrary. That’s probably why Arthur Weasley’s Patronus was in the form of a weasel. This Patronus is also described as spontaneous.
Another magical creature deferred from regular horses by wings that enabled them to fly. Many different breeds were found worldwide, such as Abrahan and Thestral, for example. Headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic owned a team of Abrahan winged horses and they pulled their carriage to Hogwarts twice.
The first time for the Tri-Wizard tournament and the second for Albus Dumbledore’s funeral. The Abrahan, Granian and Thestral are known corporeal forms of a Patronus Charm.
Related to dogs, these wild animals used to live in the Forbidden Forest. Humans who were bitten by wolves would turn into werewolves on every full moon. Remus Lupin’s Patronus was a wolf and Nimphadora Tonk’s as well after she fell in love with Lupin.
There are many other possible corporeal forms of the Patronus Charm, mostly various types of dogs, cats, horses, snakes and birds. We will only mention them, without describing them in detail.
Dogs: Bloodhound, Chow Dog, Deerhound, Fox Terrier, Greyhound, Husky, Ibizan Hound, Irish Wolfhound, West Highland Terrier, St Bernard, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Mongrel Dog, Mastiff…
Cats: Black and white cat, Calico cat, Ginger cat, Tortoiseshell cat, Tonkinese cat, Sphynx cat, Siberian cat, Russian blue cat, Ragdoll cat, Nebelung cat, Manx cat…