Buckbeak (temporarily renamed Witherwings during 1996 to deceive the Ministry) was a Hippogriff. He lived with Rubeus Hagrid and many other Hippogriffs, but was later sentenced to death, due to being taunted and provoked by Draco Malfoy and attacking him. Buckbeak was sentenced to death for this act by the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, most of whom had been threatened by Lucius Malfoy, Draco's father, into voting for that verdict.
With the help of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and her Time-Turner, Buckbeak escaped execution in 1994 and he came under the care of Sirius Black. Sirius kept Buckbeak with him while on the run during the 1994–1995 school year, and later kept him in his mother's bedroom while in hiding at 12 Grimmauld Place. After Sirius's death, Buckbeak came to be owned by Harry Potter through Sirius's will, though Harry allowed him to live with Hagrid. He participated in two battles of the Second Wizarding War, particularly the final battle of that war, the Battle of Hogwarts. He showed great affection and loyalty to Harry, defending him whenever he is near and in danger.
Care of Magical Creatures class
In 1993, Rubeus Hagrid brought his first Care of Magical Creatures class to see Buckbeak, as well as other Hippogriffs. Under Hagrid's direction, Harry was able to successfully approach Buckbeak, and was even allowed to ride him for a short flight around the paddock.
An intensely proud creature, Buckbeak was offended when Draco Malfoy insulted him, resulting in him injuring the boy's arm. Malfoy's father insisted that the Hippogriff be put to death. Due to Malfoy's influence in the Ministry of Magic, he managed to ensure that ruling. Walden Macnair came to the Hogwarts grounds to carry out the execution, and Buckbeak was tied in Hagrid's pumpkin patch to await his death. However, using a Time-Turner, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger rescued Buckbeak just prior to the execution happening. Originally they heard the swish of an axe and assumed Buckbeak had been executed. However after it was seen Buckbeak had escaped, Macnair swung his axe into the fence. Buckbeak was used to get to Flitwick's Office which Sirius was locked in, enabling Sirius to escape the Dementorsand leave Hogwarts
Living with Sirius Black
In 1996, Kreacher injured Buckbeak with the encouragement of Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy so that Sirius would be occupied with taking care of him when Harry tried to contact him. This ensured that Harry would believe a false vision Lord Voldemort gave to him about Sirius being tortured in the Department of Mysteries so as to lure him there, setting the stage for a battle.
Back in Hagrid's care
After Sirius's death in June of 1996, Albus Dumbledore told Harry that according to Sirius' will, he was now the legal owner of Buckbeak, although Harry told Dumbledore that he could continue living with Rubeus Hagrid. In order to protect the hippogriff's identity, Buckbeak was renamed "Witherwings" at this time.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower
He joined Harry's duel with Severus Snape across the grounds in June of 1997 after Dumbledore's death, attacking Snape and driving him off, protecting Harry. Buckbeak survived the battle and was still in good health.
Battle of Hogwarts
It is unknown what happened to Buckbeak after the war, but it is possible that he still lives at Hagrid's hut, or else in the forest with the other hippogriffs.
Personality and traits
Buckbeak was a proud creature and at first he seemed to be aggressive, attacking Draco Malfoy when he insulted him. However Buckbeak was actually very affectionate and loyal to people who treated him with kindness and respect. An example of his affection was when he tried to return to Hagrid after Harry and Hermione saved him from being executed. He also protected Harry and Hermione from Remus Lupin while he was in his werewolf form. He was also shown to be very loyal to Harry, defending him from Severus Snape in 1997 when he was cornered, and joining the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998 by attacking Voldemort's giants.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Buckbeak defended Harry and Hermione from Remus Lupin in his werewolf form.
- Buckbeak's role in the series beyond the Prisoner of Azkaban was omitted from the films, though concept art of the character was made for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and he appeared in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7.
- The wizard rock band Draco and the Malfoys have a song titled Hippogriffs Deserve to Die, all about Draco being attacked by Buckbeak.
- The Flight of the Hippogriff ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has an animatronic version of Buckbeak, resting in a nest.
- In the book of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry doesn't exactly enjoy his first ride on Buckbeak, and it's made clear between hippogriffs and broomsticks which one he prefers. This isn't so in the film adaption. In the movie, during his first ride on Buckbeak, Harry appears to be fascinated by the ride and enjoying it a lot as they fly over the Black Lake, raising his arms and shouting in triumph. The film portrayal also depicts a much longer ride, with Buckbeak achieving a sort of smooth, idyllic glide not described in the novel.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Heard only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Appears in artwork)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter