- "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."
The Veela are a race of semi-human, semi-magical humanoids reminiscent of the Vila in Slavic folklore. Little is known about their biology; they appear to be young, beautiful humans. Their looks and especially their dance is magically seductive to almost all male beings, which causes such people to perform strange actions in order to get nearer to the Veela.
Veela were the mascots for the Bulgarian National Quidditch team during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, which indicates an Eastern European origin, although the Delacours, who are from France, are proof that they can be found all over Europe.
Veela are described as looking like incredibly beautiful women, with moon-bright skin and white-gold hair that fans out behind them despite the absence of wind. They have the ability to hypnotise and mesmerise most men with their seductive dance, who will then try to impress them.
Veela are thought to have their own type of magic which does not require a wand. When Veela are angry, however, they transform into something more like Harpies — their faces turn into cruel-beaked bird-like heads while long scaly wings burst from their shoulders, and they can launch balls of fire from their hands. Veela seem to be quite an irascible race.
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 then got sent away.
Veela hair is a magical substance, suitable as a core for wand manufacture. Renowned wandmaker Garrick Ollivander noted that he personally never uses it, as he finds the result to be temperamental. Fleur Delacour's wand contains a single hair from her Veela grandmother.
Veela have been known to marry wizards, although it is unknown whether any have married Muggles. Children of these unions are half-Veela, and they will inherit magical ability from their wizarding parent and beauty and charm from their Veela parent. Veela traits seem to persist for at least a few generations (examples being Apolline Delacour, and her daughters Fleur and Gabrielle).
Apolline Delacour is a half-Veela, thus her children Fleur and Gabrielle are quarter-Veela, and Fleur's children Victoire, Dominique, and Louis are each an one-eighth Veela; it is unknown if they have inherited any specific Veela characteristics from their great-grandmother.
It is unknown whether half-blooded Veela can throw fire or transform into harpy-like creatures as their full-blooded relatives can.
- Fleur Delacour's maternal grandmother
- At least two cousins of Fleur Delacour
- The Bulgarian National Quidditch team mascots at the Quidditch World Cup in 1994. The mascots danced to hypnotise the players as well as the fans on the other team; even the referee was affected.
Behind the scenes
- Veela (or les Wilis in French) are featured in the ballet, Giselle.
- 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 hypnotize 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).
- 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.
- 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 Merfolk, 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.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2