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"Veela are semi-human magical beings; beautiful women with white-gold hair and skin that appears to shine moon-bright. When angry, Veela take on a less pleasant appearance; their faces elongate into sharp, cruel-beaked bird heads, and long scaly wings burst from their shoulders."
— Description[src]

Veela (both singular and plural) were human-like magical beings who appeared as young, beautiful women with white-gold hair and moon-bright skin, native to Bulgaria. Their looks and especially their dance were hypnotically seductive to almost all people attracted to women, which caused them to perform foolhardy and impulsive actions to get closer to, and to receive admiration from the Veela.[2]

Veela were the mascots for the Bulgarian National Quidditch team during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup,[1] which indicates an Southeastern European origin. However, the part-Veela Delacour family were from France,[3] suggesting that they could be found all over Europe.

Nature[]

"At this, the veela lost control. Instead of dancing, they launched themselves across the field and began throwing what seemed to be handfuls of fire at the leprechauns. Watching through his Omnioculars, Harry saw that they didn't look remotely beautiful now. On the contrary, their faces were elongating into sharp, cruel-beaked bird heads, and long, scaly wings were bursting from their shoulders —"
— Veela becoming angry, after having been provoked by leprechauns[src]

Veela were described as looking like incredibly beautiful human women, with moon-bright skin and white-gold hair that fanned out behind them, despite the absence of wind. They had the ability to mesmerise most people attracted to women with their seductive dance. Those under the hypnotic spell would experience a blissful blankness of the mind, believing that the Veela and their dance was the only thing that mattered, and that something terrible would happen if they stopped. The mesmerised people would feel compelled to do something crazy to try to impress the Veela, giving no thought to personal safety.[2] Men were also known to make outrageous (and obviously false) claims in the presence of Veela, trying to win their affection.[4]

Even after the Veela stopped, there were still some lingering effects. For example, during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, after Veela mascots of the Bulgarian team finished their performance, some of the Irish fans briefly believed themselves to be supportive of Bulgaria and were confused about why they were wearing Irish merchandise.[1]

However, one could block out the Veela's allure by putting their fingers in their ears. Additionally, receiving a mild attack, like a slap in the face or a kick in the shin, could break someone out of their trance.[1]

GOF Chapter 22 chapter art

Fleur Delacour's allure affecting Ron Weasley

Veela had their own type of magic which did not require a wand. Their magic was usually used to add to their natural appeal and attract more people. When Veela became angry, however, they could transform into something more like Harpies — their faces turned into cruel-beaked bird-like heads, while long scaly wings burst from their shoulders, and they could launch balls of fire from their hands. Veela seemed to be quite an irascible race.[2][1]

For example, in the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, they were easily wound up by the Leprechauns, resulting in a fight between both teams' mascots on the pitch. The Veela were then sent off the pitch.[1]

Veela hair[]

Veela hair was a magical substance, suitable as a core for wand crafting. Renowned wandmaker Garrick Ollivander noted that he personally never used it, as he found the result to be temperamental. These types of wands appeared to be usually used by part-Veela, as quarter-Veela Fleur Delacour's wand contained a single hair from her Veela grandmother.[5]

Cross-breeding[]

Fleur Delacour

Fleur Delacour, a quarter-Veela

Veela had been known to marry wizards, although it is unknown whether any married Muggles. Children of these unions were half-Veela, and they would inherit magical ability from their wizarding parent and beauty and charm from their Veela parent. Veela traits seemed to persist for at least a few generations (as seen in the part-Veela Delacour family).[6]

Apolline Delacour was a half-Veela, thus her children Fleur and Gabrielle were quarter-Veela, and Fleur's children Victoire, Dominique, and Louis were each one-eighth Veela. It is unknown if the one-eighth Veela, like half-Veela or quarter-Veela, inherited any specific Veela characteristics from their great-grandmother.[6]

Cassandra Vole's great-grandmother was also a Veela, which makes Cassandra one-eighth Veela.[7]

It is unknown whether half-blooded Veela could throw fire or transform into harpy-like creatures as their full-blooded relatives could.

Known Veela[]

Behind the scenes[]

  • The term "Veela" is never used in the films.
  • The word "Veela" is an Anglicisation of the Slavic term Vila.
  • Veela are described as fairy or nymph-like creatures in Slavic mythology, who live in bodies of water and have power and ability over storms. They may be the ghosts of women who drowned, especially those who were betrayed by their lovers. They often appear as beautiful women, but are known to morph into swans, snakes, horses, or wolves. Their magically seductive speaking and singing voices hypnotise those who hear them, and they are fierce warriors. Interestingly, given that Fleur Delacour's wand has a hair from her Veela grandmother, it is said in some legends that if even one of their hairs is plucked, a Veela will either die or be forced to change into a non-human shape. Veela are main features of Bulgarian and Serbian folklore such as the story of Marko Kraljevic and the Veela (archive link). Also see The Ballads of Marko Kraljevic (English translation).
    • In Serbian legend they were maidens cursed by God; in Bulgaria they were girls who died before they were baptised; in Poland they were young girls floating through the air atoning for frivolous past lives.
    • If the stories regarding the plucking of Wili/Vila hair hold true with regards to Veela it seems more likely the hair used in Fleur's wand would have naturally shed rather than been plucked.
  • One of the questions on the 2nd Level W.O.M.B.A.T. asks the examinee to identify which of five given statements is false; one of these claims that full-blooded male Veela do not exist. It is actually unknown in canon if full-blooded male Veela do exist.
    • It is not known whether male part-Veela express Veela characteristics. The only male in canon with Veela ancestry is Louis Weasley, and it is not clear whether he developed Veela characteristics.
  • Veela are similar to the Sirens of Greek mythology. Sirens are featured in Homer's The Odyssey, as half-bird, sea-dwelling hybrids whose hypnotic singing causes sailors to run aground. However, in the Harry Potter universe, Sirens are one of the three known species of Merpeople, and, as far as we know, are unrelated to Veela.
  • The Veela of Slavic folklore are akin to fairies in Germanic folklore and their beauty is somewhat reminiscent of the Elves of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium - sometimes referred to as "fairies" in his earlier works - which were based on the fairies of Germanic lore.

Appearances[]

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Notes and references[]

See also[]

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