"People ask me what it's like being a gargoyle... well, to be honest, most of the time you have a very cold bottom."
Lonely Male Gargoyle[src]

Gargoyle refers to a carved stone or statue with an ugly monstrous design. Since medieval times, gargoyle statues have been commonly seen in many structures and buildings, including the Hogwarts Castle, and like many other statues in the Wizarding World, most wizarding gargoyles are enchanted to be animate and, oftentimes, even sentient.


Architecturally, two distinctions are made between gargoyles: functional ones, whose purpose is to direct water away from the sides of a building through their spouts; and aesthetic gargoyles, whose appearance is said by the superstitious to add to their ability to ward off evil. It is unknown if the latter ability is preserved with gargoyles in the wizarding world.

It should be noted that, whilst some gargoyles, like the Lonely Male Gargoyle, do seem to have some degree of sentience, this is not known to be an innate ability and any noted animation is likely due to magic, such as a charm.

Known Gargoyles

Sentient Hogwarts Gargoyles

Gargoyle statue Chamber of secret (film) pic2

The sapient Stairwell Gargoyle outside the Headmaster's office in Hogwarts (depicted as a Griffin in the films)

A number of Hogwarts gargoyles have the ability to talk and posess personality, such as:

Screenshot 1110

Other Gargoyles


From the French gargouille, meaning "throat" or "gullet". In Latin gurgulio, gula, and similar words derived from the root gar, meaning "to swallow", which represented the gurgling sound of water.

Behind the scenes

Gargoyle statue 1995

A gargoyle statue in Hogwarts' Middle Courtyard

See also

Screenshot 1109


The Harry Potter Wiki has 40 images related to Gargoyle.

Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
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