Fortunately, there is a much easier option: looking back at all the magical creatures Harry and Company met along the way and determining which we’d want by our side in dire circumstances… or maybe just our Hogwarts dormitory. And so, we brave the experiment of ranking all the enchanted critters from J.K. Rowling’s beloved franchise.
11. NAGINI THE SNAKE
We’d be remiss not to include Voldemort’s snake on this list, but only because she gives Neville his most heroic moment in the entire series. Otherwise, hard pass on this being of pure evil.
10. NORBERT THE DRAGON
We never really get to know Norbert, the baby Norwegian Ridgeback Hagrid adopts through questionable means. But we do know he’s adorable, and he breathes tiny puffs of fire, and he goes to live with the second coolest Weasley brother, earning his place on this list.
9. FLUFFY THE THREE-HEADED DOG
There’s almost nothing to say about Fluffy beyond, “He’s a three-legged dog who gets lulled to sleep by pan flute.” But what more do you need?
8. ARAGOG THE ACROMANTULA
We’ve got to dock some points for Aragog. He’s a loyal friend to Hagrid, sure, but he almost feeds Harry and Ron to his children. Still, he’s a huge-ass spider with a mastery of the English language. Can’t argue with that.
7. PIGWIDGEON THE OWL
If anyone was going to soften the blow of Ron’s rat turning out to be a lackey of Voldemort’s, it was Pigwidgeon, the tiny Scops owl gifted to him by Sirius. Pigwidgeon, often called Pig, was excitable and eager to serve, though perhaps not the most helpful little guy.
6. THE THESTRALS
Thestrals, the skeletal horse-like creatures only visible to those who have witnessed death, are by far the most metal of all magical creatures in the Potterverse. It takes some encouragement from Luna Lovegood for Harry to come around on them, but he recognizes their beauty in time.
5. BUCKBEAK THE HIPPOGRIFF
There really isn’t a lot of personality to Buckbeak, a rough cross between an eagle and a horse. He’s arrogant and combative, but he does have an unusual beauty about him, and he helps Sirius escape the Dementor’s Kiss, so he’s heroic in his own right.
4. FANG THE BOARHOUND
A controversial placement to be sure, but sometimes, magic is overrated and you just need a loyal (if a bit cowardly) dog by your side. Fang is an endearingly slobbery wuss who’d gladly run beside you into battle before literally turning tail and going back to the safety of Hagrid’s hut.
3. FAWKES THE PHOENIX
Any animal would have to be pretty impressive to take up space in the Hogwarts headmaster’s office, and Fawkes, with his gorgeous fiery plumage and powers of regeneration, certainly fits the bill. Bonus points for saving Harry’s life in the Chamber of Secrets.
2. HEDWIG THE OWL
Hedwig provides Harry with an entry point into the magical world. She’s the first magical creature we meet and by far the most dignified with her snowy white feathers and tendency toward elegance. And, again, she saves Harry’s life. But what animal doesn’t?
1. CROOKSHANKS THE CAT
There’s no denying the cleverness of Hermione’s half-kneazle pet who assists the Golden Trio on the night of Sirius’ escape. Sure, he’s not the prettiest feline, but he’s crafty and loyal. And it’s never mentioned that he yowls for food every night, making him a better cat than any feline owner could imagine.
Who’s your favorite fluffy, scaly, or otherwise inhumanly textured character in the Potterverse? Let us know in the comments!
Images: Warner Bros.