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.
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 garoyles, 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.
Hogwarts is home to many gargoyles, such as the one placed in the entrance to the Headmaster's office located in the second floor, which is described as an extremely ugly statue and comes to life when the correct password is spoken. Other gargoyle statues are seen in Hogwarts' Paved Courtyard as well as the one in the Clock Tower Courtyard.
A number of Hogwarts gargoyles have the ability to talk and posess personality, such as:
- The two gargoyle statues that guard the entrance to the staffroom, having the ability to talk.
- The Comedic Female Gargoyle
- The Barking Mad Male Gargoyle
- The Lonely Male Gargoyle
- The Lonely Male Gargoyle's friend
- The Miserable Female Gargoyle
- The Sarcastic Male Gargoyle
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
- In the PC video game adaption of Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban, they are used as targets to cast Lumos and when done so, they will make a small movement.
- In the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game), the Gargoyle statue that stood in the second floor entrance to the Headmaster's office was moved to the Entrance Courtyard.
- One of the sayings of wizards is "Galloping gargoyles".
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- 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 Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game