"Well, the Heads of the participating schools are always on the panel, because all three of them were injured during the Tournament of 1792, when a cockatrice the champions were supposed to be catching went on the rampage. It's all in Hogwarts: A History."
Hermione Granger mentioning this creature in 1994[src]

A cockatrice was a magical beast resembling a rooster with a lizard's tail.


During the 1792 Triwizard Tournament, one of the tasks involved capturing a cockatrice. Unfortunately, the cockatrice broke free, and went on a rampage that injured the Heads of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, and the Durmstrang Institute.[1] The incident led to the cancellation of the Triwizard Tournament until its revival in 1994.


The cockatrice takes its name from both cock (rooster) and crocodile (old French, cocatris).

Behind the scenes

  • The cockatrice is a mythological creature from medieval legends. First described in the twelfth century, it is often described as a two-legged dragon with a rooster's head. The terms "basilisk" and "cockatrice" are often used interchangeably in modern translations of some legends, though obviously the two are different creatures in the Harry Potter universe.[2]
  • In the Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Greek version of the book, the cockatrice is translated as basilisco, which, in fact, means basilisk. The Dutch version literally translated the name of the creature to basilisk. This raises many questions, as the breeding of basilisks was banned since medieval times, and using one in the Triwizard Tournament would be far too dangerous, since its gaze alone could kill the entire audience. All this is due to the frequent interference between the tales of the Cockatrice and the Basilisk in medieval lore, where Basilisks were sometimes depicted as very similar to cockatrices rather than large killing-gazed snakes.
  • In the Polish version of the book, the cockatrice is translated as żmijoptakOccamy.
  • These creatures are not featured in either edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Newt Scamander only intended the book to be an introduction to Magizoology, not a complete guide.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)
  2. WP favicon.PNG Cockatrice on Wikipedia
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