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"As a surprise for Harry, they had painted a large banner on one of the sheets Scabbers had ruined. It said Potter for President, and Dean, who was good at drawing, had done a large Gryffindor lion underneath."
Dean Thomas having produced a Gryffindor Quidditch team banner for Harry Potter[src]

A lion is a carnivorous mammal. It is the second-largest living cat after the tiger.[2]

Lions in the wizarding world

It was the mascot of Gryffindor House at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,[1] as it represented courage and chivalry, the two most pronounced traits of a Gryffindor. In addition, Luna Lovegood made a hat in the shape of a lion's head, and would wear it at all Quidditch games between Gryffindor and Slytherin Houses, to show her support for Gryffindor, over Slytherin.[3]

Many magical beasts had the physical features of lions. Sphinxes and Manticores were magical beasts that had the body of a lion and the head of a human.[4] Chimaeras had the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a dragon. Griffins had bodies that were part lion and part eagle. Kneazles had a lightly plumed tail that resembled a lion's.[5] Zouwus had a mane that resembled a lion's.[6]

It was a possible corporeal form of the Patronus Charm.[7][8] Patricia Rakepick's Patronus took the form of a lioness.[9]


An escaped Lion from Central Park Zoo

On 6 December 1926, a lion escaped from the Central Park Zoo in New York as a results of damages done by the Erumpent set loose from Newton Scamander's suitcase. It was seen later wandering the streets of the Diamond District by Newton Scamander, Jacob Kowalski, and the New York Police Department.[10]

At the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, the scarves for those supporting Bulgaria were adorned with lions that really roared.[11]

Later that year, while introducing a dance lesson for the Yule Ball, Professor McGonagall stated that inside every boy was a lordly lion prepared to prance.[12]

In the summer of 1996, when observing him for the first time, the Prime Minister thought that Rufus Scrimgeour looked rather like an old lion.[13]

Behind the scenes

  • When Tom Felton was asked about what magical pet he would like to have, he said it would be a pink lion, an animal not featured in canon.[14]


Notes and references