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- "A large, horned snake with numerous magical properties."
There were several different species of Horned Serpents found world-wide; large specimens were found in the Far East, and the most diverse group still in existence was native to North America. Horned Serpents inhabited bodies of water as their natural habitat.
Horned Serpents had a horned head, thus why they are named. Certain American species also sported a jewel in the forehead.
They were regarded as intelligent, with fierce eyes.
These serpents emitted a low, musical note to sound danger. Shavings from its horn can be used as wand cores. Its jewel was said to grant powers of invisibility and flight, thus making it the most sought after element of the species.
Around 1620, the Irish-born witch Isolt Sayre befriended a Horned Serpent near Mount Greylock in present-day Massachusetts. She was able to understand the serpent, and when founding Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry she chose the Horned Serpent as the symbol of one of the school's four houses. Later, a long shard of horn from the same serpent was used by Isolt and her husband James Steward to craft the first American-made wands, for their adopted sons Chadwick and Webster Boot.
Known Horned Serpents
Isolt Sayre befriended a Horned Serpent when she went to a creek by Mount Greylock in the 17th century. Isolt and the Horned Serpent could understand each other, which scared Isolt's companion, William the Pukwudgie. The serpent kept telling her the same thing - "Until I am part of your family, your family is doomed." The cryptic message concerned Isolt because she had no family at the moment and she began to think she was imagining hearing the serpent say things.
However, Isolt still visited the serpent over the years because of their strange, shared kinship, and when she and her eventual family were thinking of names for houses for Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry she named her house "Horned Serpent" in honour of it. Shortly after, Isolt received a dream the evening before Chadwick Boot's eleventh birthday. She had promised him a wand but she did not know what to use as a core. She went to the creek in the dream where the Horned Serpent rose up out the water and let her take a shard of its horn. When she woke and went to the creek, she received a horn the same way as she had in her dream. She then made a wand with the core as a core set in prickly ash wood, subsequently repeating the process with Chadwick's brother Webster's wand core. This would prove the fulfilment of the serpent's prophecy, as these wands later warned Chadwick and Webster of the approach of Gormlaith Gaunt.
Behind the scenes
- The Horned Serpent is a concept found in many Native American mythologies. Horned Serpents also being found in East Asia may be in reference to Chinese dragons which are depicted differently than the European dragons that form the basis of the dragons of Harry Potter.
- The Sioux Tribal Nation refer to the Horned Serpent as Unktehi. This creature was seen as the mortal enemy of the Wakinyan, the Sioux name for the Thunderbird, another house of Ilvermorny.
- Pottermore (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2017 edition)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
|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|