"Half horse, half eagle creatures, immensely proud and extremely dangerous."
—Description of a Hippogriff[src]

A Hippogriff is a magical beast that has the front legs, wings, and head of a giant eagle and the body, hind legs and tail of a horse. It is very similar to another magical creature, the Griffin, with the horse rear replacing the lion rear.[1]

The breeding of fancy Hippogriffs is an established wizarding career, with known breeders including Newton Scamander's mother. Images of fancy Hippogriffs are sometimes put onto calendars.[2]

A hippogriff is one rare possible corporeal form of the Patronus Charm.[3]


Physical appearance

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Hippogriffs have the bodies, hind legs, and tails of horses, but the front legs, wings, and heads of giant eagles, with cruel, steel-coloured beaks and large, brilliantly orange eyes. The talons on their front legs were half a foot long and deadly-looking.[4]

It is stated that, once you get over the initial shock of seeing something that's half horse, half bird, you start to appreciate the hippogriffs' gleaming coats, which change smoothly from feathers to hair. Hippogriffs come in several different colours, including: stormy grey, bronze, pinkish roan, gleaming chestnut, and inky black.[4]


Hippogriffs are carnivorous and are extremely dangerous until tamed, which should only be attempted by a trained witch or wizard. The diet of the Hippogriff consists mainly of insects, birds, and small mammals such as ferrets. They will sometimes paw at the ground for worms if no other food is readily available.[5]

When breeding, Hippogriffs build nests on the ground, and lay only a single, fragile egg. The egg usually hatches in twenty-four hours. Infant Hippogriffs are capable of flight within a week, but it takes many months before they are strong enough to accompany their parents on long journeys.[1]


"Now, firs' thing yeh gotta know abou' hippogriffs is, they're proud. Easily offended, hippogriffs are. Don't never insult one, 'cause it might be the last thing yeh do. Yeh always wait fer the hippogriff ter make the firs' move. It's polite, see? Yeh walk towards him, and yeh bow, an' yeh wait. If he bows back, yeh're allowed to touch him. If he doesn' bow, then get away from him sharpish, 'cause those talons hurt."
Rubeus Hagrid teaches his first class about hippogriffs[src]
Buckbeak Harry

Harry approaching Buckbeak the Hippogiff slowly and carefully

When Humans approach Hippogriffs, a proper etiquette must be maintained to avoid danger. Hippogriffs are intensely proud creatures, and an individual must show proper respect by bowing to them, and waiting for them to bow in return before approaching. Eye contact should be maintained at all times, without a single blink.[4]

The Hippogriff should be allowed to make the first move, as this is polite. If offended, it may attack. Hippogriffs are tamable, but only by experts in their care (such as Rubeus Hagrid, Care of Magical Creatures Professor and Gamekeeper at Hogwarts).[4]

Although proud, Hippogriffs can also be fiercely loyal and protective of those who have earned their trust, as demonstrated by Buckbeak on at least two occasions: when he attacked Severus Snape in defence of Harry Potter during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and again when he led Hogwarts' Thestrals in attacking Voldemort's giants during the Battle of Hogwarts.[6]

Hippogriffs in the wizarding world

Protection from Muggles

Owners of Hippogriffs are required by law to cast a Disillusionment Charm on the creature every day to prevent it from being seen by Muggles. Using Hippogriffs for personal transportation is also illegal under the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.[7]

Hippogriffs at Hogwarts

"Easily offended, hippogriffs are. Don't never insult one, 'cause it might be the last thing yeh do."
Rubeus Hagrid talking to the class about Hippogriffs[src]

Hippogriff Lesson in 1993

A herd of Hippogriffs are kept at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Rubeus Hagrid used them in his first Care of Magical Creatures class in 1993

Buckbeak was a hippogriff that was a part of the Hogwarts' herd and had many encounters with the trio during the course of their education. 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.[4] Buckbeak was sentenced 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.[8]

Hogwarts BigBattleAtHogwarts Moment

Buckbeak fighting a giant during the Battle of Hogwarts

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.[5] Sirius kept Buckbeak with him while on the run during the 1994–1995 school year, and later kept him in hismother's bedroom while in hiding at 12 Grimmauld Place.[2]

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, most notably the Battle of Hogwarts.[9] He also showed great affection and loyalty to Harry, defending him whenever he was in danger.[10]

Other appearances

During the Yule Ball at Hogwarts in 1994, Hippogriffs are mentioned in the Weird Sisters song, Do The Hippogriff. The song encourages listeners to do a dance that draws its inspiration from this creature, "flyin' off from a cliff" and "swooping down to the ground..."[11]

In the winter of 1995, Sirius Black sang a Christmas Carol, "God Rest Ye, Merry Hippogriffs."[2]

A Hippogriff was discovered by Mathilda Grimblehawk and her partner to have attacked Gordon Horton, Quidditch keeper for the Chudley Cannons, while defending its nest and young in the Old Bell Tower. It was subsequently relocated.[12]

A Hippogriff was part of the Circus Arcanus.[13]

In the 21st century, adult and baby hippogriffs were caught in Confoundables caused by the Calamity and had to be rescued by volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.[14] One such Hippogriff was seen in Japan.[15]


Derived from the Greek word "hippos" meaning "horse", and the magical creature known as the griffin. In this case, it has the body of a horse as opposed to a lion, but keeps the head of an eagle.

See also

Hippogriff Patronus

A Patronus Charm cast in the form of a hippogriff


The Harry Potter Wiki has 14 images related to Hippogriff.

An adult Hippogriff as seen on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite


A baby Hippogriff, as seen on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Notes and references

Care of Magical Creatures
Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts
Hagrid's Hut · Forbidden Forest · Care of Magical Creatures classroom · Magical Creatures (club)
Professors Silvanus Kettleburn · Rubeus Hagrid · Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank (substitute teacher)
Textbooks The Monster Book of Monsters · Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Creatures studied at Hogwarts
Blast-Ended Skrewt · Bowtruckle · Chimaera · Crup · Diricawl · Fairy · Fire Crab · Flobberworm · Glumbumble · Hippogriff · Knarl · Kneazle · Murtlap · Niffler · Porlock · Fire Dwelling Salamander · Streeler · Thestral · Unicorn

Magical Creatures by classification
X Flobberworm · Horklump
XX Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse
XXX Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse
XXXX Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merpeople · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti
XXXXX Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf
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