- "The gnome is a common garden pest found throughout northern Europe and North America."
A gnome, or garden gnome, is a small magical beast commonly known to infest the gardens of wizarding households. The correct taxonomical name for gnomes is, purportedly, Gernumbli gardensi, or sometimes referred to as Gernumblies. They are found throughout northern Europe and North America. A gnome in the Muggle world is an inanimate statue that looks like a small Father Christmas.
Gnomes can reach a size of approximately one foot (making them smaller than Erklings. They are usually brown in colour and have disproportionately large heads, making them look like potatoes with legs. Although not dangerous creatures, they possess razor sharp teeth and tend to bite.
Gnomes live in burrows underground, known as gnomeholes, where they dig up and eat the roots of plants, creating little heaps of earth around gardens a lot like moles (and as such causing considerable damage to them). Gnomes prefer to live in wizarding gardens, and may run out and attempt to trip the unwary traveller.
Gnomes in the wizarding world
According to Xenophilius Lovegood, having an infestation of these creatures in one's garden is a sort of blessing. When his daughter Luna was bitten by a gnome, he exclaimed that gnome saliva had many unusual and beneficial properties, such as the ability to suddenly increase one's creativity (in particular, he said it might make one have the urge to sing opera, or give speeches in Mermish).
Luna Lovegood then told Harry that her father had done a lot of research of Gernumbli magic, so at least in the Lovegood's view of things (which always has to be taken with a grain of salt) gnomes may possess unique magical abilities, distinct from wizarding magic.
Interaction with humans
- "The gnome can be expelled from the garden by swinging it in circles until dizzy and then dropping it over the garden wall. Alternatively a Jarvey may be used, though many wizards nowadays find this method of gnome-control too brutal."
- —Instructions on how to de-gnome a garden[src]
Because of the havoc they wreak upon gardens and the fact that they are somewhat of a giveaway of wizarding homes, gnomes are deemed pests by the wizarding community. 'Gnome-control' typically consists of taking hold of the gnomes, swinging them around until they are dizzy, and then throwing them beyond the yard's perimeter fence or wall. Gnomes have the ability to speak, or at least make noises, squealing "Gerroff me!" when caught, and can be taught swear words. They are also able to scream when thrown away and mumble angrily when they walk away. However they often laugh when a de-gnoming is not done properly.
Interestingly, the species has such a low level of intelligence that when a de-gnoming is being carried out they will hurry out of their burrows to see what's causing the commotion, which only renders them easier to catch. Alternatively, one can use a Jarvey to de-gnome a garden, but this method is considered much too violent and thus is seldom used.
The Weasleys had to regularly de-gnome the garden by throwing them over the hedge. However, the gnomes always sneaked back in since Arthur Weasley was soft on them and thought they were funny. This may suggest that they have a bit of intelligence, or a clever sub-species of the gnomes exist.
Behind the scenes
- The gnome was originally created by Paracelsus in his alchemical works as a diminutive earth elemental. The creature was later picked up by other writers.
- It is possible gnomes possess some degree of magical resistance, which would explain why de-gnoming is achieved through physical means (be it throwing them out or a Jarvey) rather than with some sort of spells.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only in Disc 2)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Interview With J. K. Rowling - Scholastic.com
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
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