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Harry Potter: "Bathilda Bagshot? The author of A History of Magic?"
Elphias Doge: "Yes. A most gifted magical historian and an old friend of Albus's."
Aunt Muriel: "Quite gaga these days, I've heard."
— Bathilda's failing mental health[src]

Professor Bathilda Bagshot (d. 1997) was a British witch, magical historian and the author of A History of Magic and approximately ten other books. A History of Magic is used in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry class of the same name, taught by Cuthbert Binns.

She lived in Godric's Hollow, and was murdered in the second half of 1997. Her corpse was then animated by Lord Voldemort to contain his pet snake Nagini. This was intended to be a trap for Harry Potter.

Bathilda was also the great-aunt of Gellert Grindelwald, the infamous Dark wizard who was defeated by Albus Dumbledore.

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What is the significance of Bathilda Bagshot in the Harry Potter series? toggle section
Bathilda Bagshot is a renowned magical historian, known for her book 'A History of Magic' which is considered a fundamental text in the wizarding world, and a variety of other books on topics including Divination. Bathilda is also known for her appearance in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', where she is revealed to be a corpse under the control of Nagini, Voldemort's snake. Her character adds depth to the series' lore and contributes to the suspense and mystery in the Deathly Hallows.
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How did Bathilda Bagshot die in the Harry Potter series? toggle section
Bathilda Bagshot met a tragic end. She was murdered through the use of Dark Arts. After her death, her body was animated by Lord Voldemort, who used his snake, Nagini, to inhabit her corpse. This was done as a trap for Harry Potter, who Voldemort reasoned would visit Bathilda's cottage.
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Who portrayed Bathilda Bagshot in the Harry Potter films? toggle section
Bathilda Bagshot in the Harry Potter films was portrayed by the English actress Hazel Douglas.
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What is Bathilda Bagshot's connection to Godric's Hollow? toggle section
Bathilda Bagshot, the renowned magical historian, had a deep connection with Godric's Hollow. She lived there for a significant part of her life. Bathilda was friendly with the Potters and the Dumbledores, both families also being residents of Godric's Hollow. In a twist of fate, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger visited Godric's Hollow in 1997 to find Bathilda, hoping she had the Sword of Gryffindor they needed to destroy Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes. However, they discovered that Bathilda had been dead for a while, and Voldemort's snake Nagini had been placed inside her by Voldemort himself.
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Early life[]

Professor Bagshot was born to the wizarding Bagshot family sometime in the early or mid nineteenth century. She had at least one sister or one brother.

The Dumbledores[]

" Kendra Dumbledore slammed the door in my face when I went around to welcome her with a batch of homemade Cauldron Cakes. The first year they were there I only ever saw the two boys. Wouldn't have known there was a daughter if I hadn't been picking Plangentines by moonlight the winter after they moved in, and saw Kendra leading Ariana out into the back garden. Walked her round the lawn once, keeping a firm grip on her, then took her back inside. Didn't know what to make of it."
— Bathilda relays her reminiscences about the Dumbledores[src]

In the 1890s, Bagshot was already an adult living in her house in Godric's Hollow, when Kendra Dumbledore moved there from Mould-on-the-Wold along with her young children Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana, after her husband Percival's well-publicised arrest and imprisonment in Azkaban. Bathilda tried to befriend Kendra after they arrived, but she was rebuffed.[10]

Within the next several years, Bathilda sent an owl to Albus Dumbledore (then a Hogwarts student) having been favourably impressed by his paper on trans-species Transfiguration for the scholarly journal Transfiguration Today. This initial contact led to her being acquainted with the rest of the Dumbledore family. At the time of Kendra's death, Bathilda was the only person in Godric's Hollow who was on speaking terms with her.[4]


Bathilda's picture on her book, A History of Magic

In the summer of 1899, after Albus Dumbledore graduated from Hogwarts, an orphan and head of the family, Bathilda's great-nephew, Gellert Grindelwald, came to live with her and she made a point of introducing Grindelwald to Albus. The two talented young men became friends.[4] It is unknown how much or what Bathilda knew of her nephew's actions concerning Aberforth and Ariana Dumbledore, but she witnessed the fist-fight that broke out between the Dumbledore brothers at Ariana's funeral.[11]

In 1947, Bathilda's work on wizarding history was published under the title A History of Magic by Little Red Books.[12] It was presumably around this time she authored her other works on magical history.[13] She was deemed the most celebrated magical historian of the twentieth century.[14]

Bathilda may have been a teacher at some point, possibly at Hogwarts, as Hermione Granger referred to her as "Professor Bagshot" when referencing her work.[3]

Later years[]

"We had a very quiet birthday tea, just us and old Bathilda, who has always been sweet to us, and who dotes on Harry... Bathilda drops in most days, she's a fascinating old thing with the most amazing stories about Dumbledore, I'm not sure he'd be pleased if he knew! I don't know how much to believe, actually, because it seems incredible that Dumbledore could ever have been friends with Gellert Grindelwald. I think her mind's going, personally!"
— Excerpt from Lily Potter's letter[src]

Bathilda Bagshot with other academics at Hogwarts Castle

In her older years, Bathilda was on close terms with Lily Potter and even spoke to the younger woman on the closeness between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, though Lily remained somewhat sceptical, given Bathilda's advancing age and possible senility. Bathilda was also the only one to join the Potters during Harry Potter's birthday tea when he turned one year old.[8] Ron Weasley's great aunt Muriel called her "gaga" during Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding.[11]

Also sometime in her later life, Professor Bagshot provided a quote for the critical acclaim for Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, when she wrote "Kennilworthy Whisp's painstaking research has uncovered a veritable treasure trove of hitherto unknown facts about the sport of warlocks. A fascinating read." as a review.[15]

Rita Skeeter interview[]

"Dear Batty, Thanks for your help. Here's a copy of the book; hope you like it. You said everything, even if you don't remember it. Rita."
— Rita Skeeter's note to Bathilda[src]
Harry-potter-deathly-hallows1-bathilda cottage

"Bathilda" stumbling around her cottage, sometime after her interview with Rita Skeeter

In 1997 (after the death of Albus Dumbledore) Bathilda was interviewed by Rita Skeeter through the use of Veritaserum. Rita then used the material she gathered from Bathilda in her only semi-true biography The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.[4] It is implied that Skeeter took advantage of Bathilda's poor mental state to twist her material to be more sensationalist. She even referred to Bathilda as being "batty".

DH1 Rita Skeeter's note to Bathilda Bagshot

Rita Skeeter's note to Bathilda after her interview

Also while in Bathilda's cottage she took several of her pictures and letters. For example an image of Dumbledore and Grindlewald together. And one letter she stole was a correspondence from Dumbledore to Grindlewald, regarding their ambition to obtain the Deathly Hallows and their plan to start a global revolution. This global revolution would lead wizardkind out of hiding and cause Muggle servitude. Bathilda's pictures and letters caused tension in the wizarding world, especially among those whom were Dumbledore supporters. Harry Potter was one of the ones most affected by it.

Death and post-mortem[]

"Finally, we regret to inform our listeners that the remains of Bathilda Bagshot have been discovered in Godric's Hollow. The evidence is that she died several months ago. The Order of the Phoenix informs us that her body showed unmistakable signs of injuries inflicted by Dark Magic."
Lee Jordan comments upon Bathilda's murder[src]
Bathilda Bagshot and Harry Potter

Nagini as Bathilda Bagshot speaking to Harry Potter in Parseltongue

Sometime after her interview with Rita Skeeter, Bathilda was murdered through the Dark Arts[16] and her body was animated by Lord Voldemort. Voldemort did this using his snake, Nagini. He left Nagini in her cottage as a trap, reasoning that Harry Potter may visit Godric's Hollow to see his parents' grave and their destroyed home, since he was no longer at Hogwarts and had never before had the opportunity to visit Godric’s Hollow.

Harry-potter-deathly-hallows1-bathilda corpse

Nagini preparing to leave Bathilda's corpse and detain Harry Potter

On the following Christmas Eve, Hermione Granger and Harry did so, thinking that perhaps Dumbledore had left Godric Gryffindor's Sword there for them to be able to destroy the Horcruxes they were hunting. The pair met the possessed woman and were almost captured when "Bathilda" lured them into her home. After determining Harry's identity, Nagini leapt from Bathilda's body to attack him, leaving the old woman for good. The plan, however, failed, and Harry and Hermione escaped.[2]

Bathilda's body was later found, and her death by dark magic was reported by Potterwatch.[16]

Published works[]

Physical description[]

"Now that he was beside her, Harry realised how tiny she was; bowed down with age, she came barely level with his chest. She closed the door behind them, her knuckles blue and mottled against the peeling paint... Her eyes were thick with cataracts and sunken into folds of transparent skin, and her whole face was dotted with broken veins and liver spots... she unwound a moth-eaten black shawl, revealing a head of scant white hair through which the scalp showed clearly through."
— Description of her appearance[src]

An elderly Professor Bagshot was a tiny woman, her head at the level of seventeen-year-old Harry Potter's chest. At the time that Harry Potter met her, she was stooped, her eyes were thick with cataracts, and her hair was scant and white, with her scalp clearly visible. Her face had some liver spots and broken veins.[2]

Personality and traits[]

"Unfortunately, the brilliance that Bathilda exhibited earlier in her life has now dimmed. 'The fire's lit, but the cauldron's empty,' as Ivor Dillonsby put it to me, or, in Enid Smeek's slightly earthier phrase, 'She's nutty as squirrel poo.'"
The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore by Rita Skeeter[src]

Little is known of Bathilda's personality. One can presume she was friendly and amiable, having tried to befriend Kendra Dumbledore in the 1890s with a batch of homemade Cauldron Cakes.[10] She regarded Albus Dumbledore as something like a protégé[4] and was friendly with Lily Potter in the early 1980s.[8] She was a brilliant witch and historian in her youth, but during her later years she was quite possibly becoming senile.[4]

Magical abilities and skills[]


  • Home: Bathilda owned a dwelling in Godric's Hollow which served as her home when she was alive. After her death and murder, it fell into disarray and ruin, as no one was around to look after it.[2]
  • The Mill on the Floss: Bathilda owned a copy of this novel written by Muggle author George Eliot, which could be found on the bookshelves in her home.
  • Shrubs & Trees for the Garden: Bathilda owned a copy of this gardening and floriculture book, which could be found on the shelves in her home.
  • The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore: Bathilda was personally gifted a copy of this controversial autobiography by its author Rita Skeeter, after Bathilda personally gave her the information necessary to write it (although somewhat unwillingly).[4]
  • Plangentines: Bathilda grew and cultivated this species of magical plant in her garden.[10]


  • Bathilda is an alternate spelling of the name of Saint Balthild, a seventh-century Anglo-Saxon noble and wife of King Clovis II of Burgundy who dedicated her later life to helping the ill and the poor. The name is derived from the Old English Bealdhild, meaning "bold battle".
  • Bathilda is a German name that means "heroine".
  • Bagshot is the name of a town in Surrey, England. The name is thought to be derived from a tribe (bacca) and the Anglo-Saxon word for "The place of" (sheatte) meaning "the place of Bacca's tribe" though Bag could also mean badger, "the place of the Badger", creating a reference to Hufflepuff.
  • Bathilda's last name, Bagshot, may also be a reference to The Lord of the Rings, in which the characters Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and Hamfast and Samwise Gamgee lived on Bagshot Row.

Behind the scenes[]

Hazel Douglas as Bathilda

Hazel Douglas in an on-set interview

Bathilda lego

Bathilda Bagshot as an animated corpse in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7


The Harry Potter Wiki has 18 images related to Bathilda Bagshot.

Notes and references[]

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe) - When the Dumbledore family moved to Godric's Hollow in 1890, after Percival's arrest, Bathilda was already an adult and came by to welcome them, meaning she was at least seventeen years of age. This makes 1873 Bathilda's latest date of birth.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)
  5. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Side Quest "Secrets of Godric's Hollow"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  9. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Beyond Hogwarts, Volume 1, Chapter 14 (HIGH SOCIETY)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
  12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Disc 2 (Godric's Hollow)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Chapter 7 (The Wedding)
  15. Quidditch Through the Ages - Praise for Quidditch Through the Ages
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
  17. See this image (archive from October 30, 2013; original link here).