- "Break a rule in front of her, put just one toe out of line, and she'd whisk off for Filch, who'd appear, wheezing, two seconds later."
- —Mrs Norris's close relationship with her master[src]
Mrs Norris was the pet cat of Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Mrs Norris was described as having an unusually strong connection with her master, alerting him to any students misbehaving inside the school castle. She was described as appearing almost the same way as Filch, with bulging yellow, lamp-like eyes, a scrawny, skeletal body and dust-coloured fur.
Under Argus Filch's ownership
Mrs Norris was born sometime prior to 1984, and become the pet cat of the Hogwarts school caretaker, Argus Filch. She formed an unusually strong bond with her owner, and often alerted him to any misbehaving students almost instantly. Because of this, she along with Filch were widely loathed by most of the Hogwarts student body, and many students had the urge to "give her a good kick".
Stalking the Trio
During the 1991–1992 school year, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger often narrowly escaped the cat on their nightly trips through the school throughout their first year. Harry once got caught by her one day for tracking mud on the floor. She and Filch nearly caught Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville Longbottom on the night Harry had gone to duel Draco Malfoy. To avoid them, they hid in a room on the forbidden third floor corridor, and unknowingly encountering Fluffy.
During the 1991 Christmas holidays when Harry and Ron first encountered the Mirror of Erised on a late night stroll, she noticed them being out of bed and wandering around the castle at night. Harry had a suspicion that she was able to see him even when he was under his Invisibility Cloak, although she may have just sensed someone there but cannot see, as cats are known to possess highly advanced senses that humans do not have.
Plot to reopen the Chamber of Secrets
Mrs Norris was the first victim of the Serpent of Slytherin when the Chamber of Secrets was re-opened in 1992. On Hallowe'en night, she was petrified by the basilisk when she saw its reflection in a puddle of water in front of the unused bathroom, in the second floor. Ginny Weasley, possessed by Tom Marvolo Riddle, hung her from a torch bracket by her tail, where she was found by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, next to the threatening message written on the wall. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore examined the cat but was unable to revive her. Argus Filch was devastated, and even accused Harry Potter of having attacked her. Thankfully, Mrs Norris was revived by Professor Pomona Sprout with the help of a Mandrake Restorative Draught at the end of the 1992–1993 school year.
Under the Weasley twins' thumb
In 1993, when Harry obtained the Marauder's Map from Fred and George Weasley, Mrs Norris showed up on the map, alerting the user to her presence, allowing Harry to carefully avoid being caught by her.
In 1996, Peeves locked Mrs Norris inside a suit of armour twice after Fred and George Weasley had instructed him to wreak as much havoc as possible on their departure from the school. Filch personally came to her rescue.
Battle of Hogwarts
Filch and Mrs Norris had an unusually close bond. Filch was extremely fond and protective of her. Even when patrolling separate corridors, the two seem to be able to communicate and Filch came directly to her when she spotted a student misbehaving. When she was attacked by the basilisk in 1992, Filch's first thought was that she was dead, and he was understandably devastated. It is unknown what happened to Mrs Norris after the war.
Rubeus Hagrid could not stand her; as he was allergic to cats. He suspected that Filch set her up to follow him around whenever he came up to the school. Hagrid once remarked that he would like to introduce her to Fang. However, she seemed to respect the other Hogwarts teachers.
Mrs Norris was hated by a majority of the students. Much like her master, she had an excellent knowledge of the castle. Being caught misbehaving by her was just as bad as being caught by Filch, because she would fetch him straight away. It was the "dearest ambition of many to give Mrs Norris a good kick."
Behind the scenes
- Mrs Norris seems exceptionally smart for a cat, to the point that many have suspected she is a cat/Kneazle cross like Crookshanks or an Animagus. However, J. K. Rowling has stated on her website that she is just a highly unpleasant cat. This was confirmed again when Rowling stated on Twitter in response to a fan query that Mrs Norris would lose in a very brutal, close fight with Crookshanks, as Crookshanks's kneazle ancestry would eventually give him the edge.
- Mrs Norris's role in the first two films is much the same as her role in the books. She also appears briefly in the third film and in the fourth and fifth films she, along with Filch, are used more as comic relief. In the fourth film, Argus Filch is seen dancing with her at the Yule Ball showing a brief sensitive side to Filch and showing his love for his cat, and on the fifth film Mrs Norris is seen climbing on Filch during the Welcoming Feast, while he is clapping enthusiastically at Dolores Umbridge's speech. She has significantly more screen time in the final movie; Filch carries her as he runs into the Great Hall screaming that the students are out of bed, as well at the end of the movie, where she is comically sitting next to a pile of rubble as Filch attempts to sweep.
- In the earlier films, Mrs Norris has red eyes. In later films, however, she has blue eyes. Also, in the films, Mrs Norris has brown and grey fur.
- The cat that played Mrs Norris is a Maine Coon. In sharp contrast to Mrs Norris's description in the books as being scrawny, Maine Coons are a large, stocky breed.
- Several animal actors portray Mrs Norris throughout the films. The most notable include Maine Coons named Maximus, Alanis and Cornilus, and animatronics were also used. Specific animal actors were used for specific purposes. Maximus was trained to run alongside Filch and jump onto his shoulders, while Alanis was trained to be held in Filch's arms without squirming. She was so good at her job that often she fell asleep during shoots.
- It is unknown if she joined the fight with or without Filch. It is unknown what happened to her after the war, although given her age of around 14 or possibly older during the Battle of Hogwarts, it is plausible that Mrs Norris had since passed away.
- Rowling said she obtained the name Mrs Norris from a character in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, who is similarly odious and is hanging around in the background a lot.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 14 (Percy and Padfoot) - "He looked down and saw the caretaker's skeletal grey cat, Mrs Norris, slinking past him. She turned lamplike yellow eyes upon him for a moment before disappearing behind a statue of Wilfred the Wistful."
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 10 (The Rogue Bludger)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- ↑ J.K. Rowling on Twitter - "It would be brutal and very close..."
- ↑ The Connection interview with J. K. Rowling, available via Web Archive