- "He had known Hagrid to present a vicious baby dragon with a teddy bear, seen him croon over giant scorpions with suckers and stingers, attempt to reason with his brutal giant of a half-brother, but this was perhaps the most incomprehensible of all his monster fancies: the giant talking spider, Aragog, who dwelled deep within the Forbidden Forest and which he and Ron had only narrowly escaped four years previously."
- —Harry Potter in his sixth year thinking about Hagrid's friendship with Aragog[src]
Aragog (c. 1942–20 April 1997) was an Acromantula owned by Rubeus Hagrid. Like the rest of his species, Aragog had a taste for human flesh and was able to communicate with humans with speech. 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 with an eighteen-foot leg span.
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, as it is their mortal enemy. After Aragog died, some of his venom was taken by Horace Slughorn and was most likely sold later on.
- "I come from a distant land. A traveller gave me to Hagrid when I was an egg."
Aragog was originally brought as an egg in a distant land and came to Great Britain in the pocket of a traveller. Somehow, the egg came into possession of Rubeus Hagrid, who at the time was a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After Aragog hatched from it, Hagrid kept him in a cupboard in one of the school's dungeons, feeding him scraps.
Opening of the Chamber of Secrets
- "They believed that I was the monster that dwells in what they call the Chamber of Secrets."
In 1943, Tom Marvolo Riddle, a descendant of Salazar Slytherin who would later become Lord Voldemort, opened the Chamber of Secrets and unleashed the resident monster, Basilisk, upon the castle to exterminate its Muggle-born population, those who were "unworthy" to study magic. Aragog was framed as being the monster and Hagrid was accused of being Slytherin's heir. Several students were petrified in the school after the monster were unleashed. But when one of its victims, Moaning Myrtle, died in a bathroom, it motivated the school's governors to consider closing the school. Tom, who considered Hogwarts his only home, found out about Aragog after discovering the young Hagrid tending to the Acromantula, and used Aragog as a scapegoat for the monster's rampage. Tom came to capture the creature, but Hagrid helped Aragog escape to the Forbidden Forest. Hagrid was later punished with expulsion from the school. Aragog, meanwhile, had to live alone in the Forest.
Hagrid, though expelled, was assigned the position of Gamekeeper at Hogwarts, by the intervention of Albus Dumbledore, thus allowing him to stay in contact with Aragog. Hagrid would visit Aragog now and then, bringing him food. On one particular visit, Hagrid brought Aragog a wife, Mosag, another Acromantula. The two Acromantulas started a large colony. Sometime later, Aragog became blind.
History repeats itself
- "...Hagrid never opened the Chamber of Secrets. He was innocent."
- —Harry Potter, after speaking to Aragog and barely surviving an attack[src]
In 1993, Salazar Slytherin's basilisk was unleashed on the castle again. This time, however, the rampage did not result in any deaths, only the petrification of several muggle-born students. Once again the governors considered closing the school due to the attacks. Governors of the school once again accused Hagrid of being the Heir of Slytherin. Hagrid vaguely told Ron Weasley and Harry Potter to "follow the spiders," but couched this advice in a statement to Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, as they were both hiding under Harry's invisibility cloak. Though reluctantly, the two decided to continue their investigation of the monster, and follow the spiders like Hagrid had indirectly told them. This led them into the Forbidden Forest.
Arriving at Aragog's Lair, they encountered Aragog and his colony. Aragog revealed to them of Hagrid's innocence, the discovery of Myrtle's body in the bathroom and added that he was not the Chamber's resident monster but however gave them a small clue of it; the monster was born in the castle unlike him and that his species never speak nor mention its name or anything about it as they fear it above other creatures. He only revealed that the creature in the Chamber was ancient. Aragog told the two that while he showed mercy to Hagrid, he would not deny his many children fresh meat—even if they were Hagrid's friends. However, thanks to the Flying Ford Anglia, Aragog's children failed to eat the two boys, as they both escaped the forest by flying away in the enchanted car. After this, Harry and Ron actually found the real monster was in fact a basilisk, and the real heir, Tom Riddle, who was of course none other than the Dark Lord Voldemort.
Death and post mortem
In 1996, Harry and Hermione Granger, in an attempt to lure Dolores Umbridge into a trap in the Forbidden Forest, took the path towards Aragog's colony, but the immediate danger of running into Aragog's children was avoided when the local Centaurs intercepted them.
That same year, Aragog contracted an unknown illness over the summer, and despite Hagrid's attempts to heal and comfort Aragog by feeding him giant grubs, he eventually died on 20 April, 1997. Before this time, it had been dangerous for Hagrid to go and visit Aragog because, sensing the giant spider's weakness, his family was getting rather restive and possibly preparing to devour him (Aragog). When Aragog died, Hagrid was able to get Aragog's corpse out of the colony before his children could attempt to cannibalise his corpse, though barely as they would no longer hold back in an attempt to devour Hagrid. Aragog was buried in a deep pit near Hagrid's house the next evening. Aragog's funeral was attended by Hagrid, Harry, and Professor Horace Slughorn, who took the opportunity to "acquire" Aragog's highly valuable venom.
In 1998, the Acromantula colony was forced out of the Forbidden Forest by Voldemort, his Death Eaters and his assembled army of dark creatures, who then established their camp there as a prelude to the Battle of Hogwarts. Aragog's children survived, however, and invaded Hogwarts, attacking both the Death Eaters and the defenders of Hogwarts. It is unknown if the colony and its population survived following the conclusion of the battle, which was in favour of the Order of the Phoenix.
Personality and traits
- "Go? I think not. My sons and daughters do not harm Hagrid, on my command. But I cannot deny them fresh meat, when it wanders so willingly into our midst. Good-bye, friend of Hagrid."
- —Aragog offering up Harry and Ron as food for his children[src]
Aragog had a close friendship with his former owner, Hagrid. He admitted that it would have been his instinct to try to attack humans, but he restrained himself out of respect and gratitude for Hagrid, and never personally harmed a human in his life. In fact, Hagrid was the only human that Aragog stopped his sons and daughters from attacking. Otherwise, he would not deprive them of fresh meat and would allow his sons and daughters to attack unsuspecting humans. One such case was when Ron Weasley and Harry Potter found Aragog, though this was more than likely an act of parental care as opposed to anger or hatred. However, the two managed to escape by sheer luck, as the Weasleys' enchanted Ford Anglia emerged to extract them from the danger.
- "We do not speak of it! We do not name it! I never even told Hagrid the name of that dread creature, though he asked me, many times."
- —Aragog's fear of Basilisks[src]
Aragog, like all spiders, feared Basilisks, and would not speak of one, not even to Hagrid, who had asked him many times. The way that Aragog would not speak their name or of them was similar to the way that wizards and witches (amongst other creatures like house-elves and goblins) would not speak Voldemort's name, or discuss him even obliquely any more than was absolutely necessary.
- Aragog comes from the words "Ara" which comes from "arachnid", which is the class spiders belong to. "Gog" and "Magog" are biblical names.
- Possibly derived from the Greek word "agog," meaning "leader", from which the modern English "demagogue" is an iteration.
Behind the scenes
- "Help rescue Harry Potter and Ron from the giant spider Aragog in the Dark Forest!"
- —Official description of the LEGO set[src]
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Aragog was voiced by Julian Glover. The film also changed his dwelling in the castle from a cupboard to a treasure chest-like box.
- It is possible that Aragog could have been inspired by Shelob, another giant spider, from the Lord of the Rings.Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers
- A LEGO version of Aragog was released, entitled 4727 Aragog in the Dark Forest. A second was released in 2010 in which he appeared, named 4738 Hagrid's Hut.LEGO Product page for 4727 Aragog in the Dark Forest
- In the films, Aragog is not blind like he is in the books and his eyes are not milky white, but instead black like all spiders.
- In the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visitors can purchase a plush version of Aragog.
- In the film version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Aragog was a massive animatronic creature. Rupert Grint, the actor who plays Ron Weasley, is afraid of spiders just as much as his character is, and said it was easily the scariest scenes to film.
- Aragog was falsely accused by Tom Riddle for the Petrification of many students before the death of Myrtle. Acromantulas are not known to be able to induce petrification, making this is another lack of insight of the justice system of the British Ministry of Magic, as they foolishly failed to notice the discrepancy.
- In Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Aragog can be seen in the Forbidden Forest scene. When the riders encounter Aragog, he squirts fake venom, which is actually water. Aragog is a giant prop for the ride, and he doesn't seem to do anything.
- According to Harry Potter: The Creature Vault, Aragog "was such a beloved character that the design crew wore black armbands while the spider's final scene (Aragog's funeral) was filmed."
- The animatronic puppet of Aragog can be found on display at "The Making Of Harry Potter" studio tour in Leavesden.
- In 2017, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of "Harry Potter" franchise, arachnologists Anton A. Nadolny and Alireza Zamani named a new species of Iranian wolf spiders (Lycosidae) after Aragog, as Lycosa aragogi. The single specimen was collected on April 26, 2016, almost 19 years to the day after Aragog died (April 20, 1997 in the world of the book), according to the "Harry Potter" series, by J.K. Rowlinghttps://www.livescience.com/59729-wolf-spider-honors-harry-potter-aragog.html.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- Creator: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 22 (After the Burial)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15 (Aragog)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 33 (Fight and Flight)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)