"Supposedly the most dangerous of all dragon breeds, the Hungarian Horntail has black scales and is lizard-like in appearance. "
—Description of a Hungarian Horntail[src]

The Hungarian Horntail is a dragon native to Hungary and is considered to be one of the most dangerous dragon breeds, if not the most dangerous.[1] It possesses black scales and is lizard-like in appearance.


The 1994 Triwizard Tournament

"Oh, don't worry about 'em, Harry, they're seriously misunderstood creatures — Although, I have to admit that Horntail is a right nasty piece of work."
Hagrid about the Hungarian Horntail[src]

Harry Potter faces a Hungarian Horntail in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament

A Hungarian Horntail was to be faced during the First Task of the 1994 Triwizard Tournament, in an effort to retrieve a Golden egg.[2] Harry Potter had to face it after selecting, at random, a tiny model depicting the Horntail from a bag. He Summoned his Firebolt broomstick to him and used it to manoeuvre around the dragon to retrieve the egg. It is stated that Ron Weasley's brother Charlie helped transport the dragon from Romania.[2]

Description and traits

It has black scales, and is lizard-like in appearance. It also has yellow eyes, with vertical pupils like a cat's, bronze horns and similarly coloured spikes that protrude from its long tail which it will gladly deploy in combat. The dragon's roar is a yowling, screeching scream, and its flame can reach to about fifty feet. While having a very far reaching flame the Horntail's breath can reach extremely high temperatures as it made a stone turn red hot in seconds. Its eggs are cement-coloured and particularly hard-shelled. The Horntail's foods of choice include cattle, sheep, goats, and whenever possible, humans.

Dragon WB F4 HeadDetailHorntail Illust 100615 Land

Close up of an Hungarian Horntail

Horntails are also known for being one of the most vicious and aggressive breeds of dragon and that is saying something since all dragons are known to be ferocious; even Rubeus Hagrid commented on their ferocity saying that the Horntail was a 'right nasty piece of work'.[3] This breed is especially aggressive when protecting their young. Along with their viciousness, tail spikes and fiery breath, Horntails are shown being extremely fast in flight while able to keep up with a Firebolt broomstick, a broom capable of going from 0 to 150 miles per hour in 10 seconds. Horntails are also seen able to keep up with Harry Potter's flying skills; a very impressive feat considering Harry's talent as a seeker.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Horntail broke free of its chain and attacked Harry. The two of them fought in an exciting chase that spanned all around the castle grounds, almost causing Harry to fall to his death at one point when he was trying to reach his Firebolt, but when the chase continued, Harry flew through the Viaduct, which the Horntail crashed into, breaking its wing and causing it to fall into the chasm below, presumably to its death.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Horntail's manner of breathing fire by shooting a pair of chemical liquids that cause a fire blast on contact is possibly based on the same fire-breathing manner used by dragons in the movie Reign of Fire (2002).[1] This was further followed by other media such as Game of Thrones series and Gods of Egypt (2016).
  • When faced with the agony of trying to ask someone to the Yule Ball, Harry said that he would have preferred facing the Horntail again.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Hungarian Horntail model that was given to Harry from Barty Crouch Snr is seen in the Roast chestnuts sale, located in Diagon Alley. It is possible that Harry gave his dragon to Fred and George who put it there.
  • The Horntail is featured in the video game version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and lives in The Dark Caves, a wizarding world forestal area with a giant cave.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Hermione falls into the arena with Harry and they both have to battle it. It not only breaks free like in the movie, but it also chases them into the castle.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 in Year 2, there is a moving picture of a wizard being chased by a Horntail in front of Hogwarts. If one gives the wizard a sword he will kill the Horntail and give the player a key.
    Plush and Model

    The plush and model of the Hungarian Horntail at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • The horntail's appearance in the movie is based off of the dragons in the movie, "Reign of Fire"(2002). The appearance of the Horntail in movie adaptations is more akin to that of a traditional Wyvern; as it has no forelegs, a true classical dragon having forelegs, hindlegs and wings like described in the books.
  • The Pottermore illustration of the Hungarian Horntail resembles its description in the novels, having four legs and two wings, with a lizard-like head and being black in colour with bronze spikes and claws. This is markedly different than the depiction of the dragon in the film.
  • The Hungarian Horntail was part of the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter along with the Chinese Fireball.
  • The Hungarian Horntail appears in the attraction at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Riders encounter the dragon when Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley fly Muggles to the Quidditch Pitch. Riders enter a real set of the Wooden Bridge where they encounter a animatronic Hungarian Horntail, which breathes false fire at them.



A Hungarian Horntail in LEGO form

Notes and references

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