Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Rubeus Hagrid

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
Rubeus Hagrid
Gender Male
Hair color Black
Eye color Black
Related Family revealed later
Loyalty Albus Dumbledore

Overview[edit]

Rubeus Hagrid is Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He apparently stands about twelve feet tall, and is immensely strong; when Harry first meets him, he bends a rifle barrel "into a knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber".

According to the author, Hagrid's birthday is December 6th; events in the stories lead us to believe he is approximately 60 years old when Harry first attends Hogwarts.

Role in the Books[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Philosopher's Stone[edit]

Professor Dumbledore entrusts Hagrid to take the infant Harry from his parents' destroyed house in Godric's Hollow and deliver him to his relatives in Little Whinging in Surrey. He arrives with baby Harry on Sirius Black's flying motorcycle.

On Harry's eleventh birthday, Hagrid personally delivers his Hogwarts invitation and explains to him that he is a wizard, " . . . and a thumpin' good one, I'd say, once yeh've been trained up a bit." He takes Harry to Diagon Alley to buy his school supplies. While there, he collects a mysterious object for Professor Dumbledore from Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

Over the course of the school year, Hagrid becomes Harry's anchor; as the one who introduced him to the Wizarding world, Harry often seeks his help. For all his large size and fearsome appearance, Hagrid is a gentle soul who Harry trusts and finds more accessible than most teachers.

Hagrid carelessly drops several clues about the mysterious package he retrieved from Gringotts—clues sufficient for Harry, Hermione, and Ron to deduce that it is the Philosopher's Stone, an object powerful enough to restore Lord Voldemort to human form and make him immortal. Hagrid also inadvertently reveals how to bypass the Stone's first guardian not only to Harry, but also to the one who is trying to steal it.

Hagrid wins a dragon's egg from someone in the Hog's Head Inn, and sets about hatching it. Draco Malfoy finds out about it, and Harry, Ron and Hermione manage to convince Hagrid to send the dragon off to Romania with Ron's brother Charlie. Harry and Hermione are caught "wandering the halls" after getting the dragon sent off; and they, along with Neville Longbottom and Draco, receive detention. To serve this detention, the four of them must accompany Hagrid into the Forbidden Forest. Hagrid is attempting to track down something that is killing unicorns. Hagrid divides the four students into two parties, with himself in one and his boar-hound, Fang, in the other. It is there that Harry has his second encounter with Voldemort – his first, of course, being when he was orphaned.

At year's end, Hagrid presents Harry with a photo album containing many photos of his late parents.

Chamber of Secrets[edit]

When Harry's initial journey by Floo powder goes astray, he ends up in Knockturn Alley. Hagrid finds him there and rescues him, bringing him out into Diagon Alley. Hagrid is still with Harry and the Weasley family when Arthur Weasley and Lucius Malfoy get into a scuffle in Flourish and Blotts; it is Hagrid who breaks up that fight.

Shortly after Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly Headless Nick are found Petrified, Harry is called into Professor Dumbledore's office. Hagrid, who Harry had bumped into in the hall moments earlier, bursts into the office, loudly proclaiming Harry's innocence, and is quite abashed when Dumbledore has to raise his voice to inform him that he never suspected Harry.

Harry learns Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts because another student, Tom Riddle, accused him of opening the Chamber of Secrets and releasing a monster that killed a girl. When the Chamber of Secrets is opened a second time, the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, arrests Hagrid "for safety's sake," despite Dumbledore's insistence that Hagrid is innocent. As he is taken away, Hagrid tells Harry (who is hiding in the room under his invisibility cloak) to "follow the spiders."

Harry and Ron follow a trail of spiders into the Forbidden Forest. There, Harry meets Aragog, a giant spider that was once Hagrid's pet. Aragog reveals that he was not the monster, though he knew what it was, and that Hagrid is innocent. Aragog mentions that he had never been anywhere near the bathroom where the girl had died. This clue leads Harry to understand that the girl in question was Moaning Myrtle, and thus to locate the entrance to the Chamber in her bathroom.

After Harry proves that it was Tom Riddle (as Lord Voldemort was originally known) who actually released the monster (to kill muggle-born and half blood wizards), Hagrid is released from Azkaban Prison and returns to the school.

Prisoner of Azkaban[edit]

Hagrid sends Harry The Monster Book of Monsters as a birthday present, hinting that this is part of a secret that he cannot yet disclose. The secret is that Hagrid is the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher, replacing Professor Kettleburn who "retired at the end of last year to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs."

During his Care of Magical Creatures class, Hagrid introduces students to Buckbeak, a hippogriff. Introductions with Draco Malfoy do not go well; when Malfoy insults Buckbeak and is injured, his father files a complaint with the Ministry of Magic. Hagrid is so unnerved by the incident that he spends the remaining term teaching the class about harmless flobberworms.

During a conversation in The Three Broomsticks pub, Hagrid learns from Cornelius Fudge that Sirius Black was convicted for betraying James and Lily Potter and killing their friend, Peter Pettigrew, and twelve muggles. Harry has managed to sneak into Hogsmeade, and overhears this conversation.

At the hearing, the complaint against Hagrid is dismissed, but Buckbeak is considered dangerous and is ordered to be destroyed. Harry, Ron, and Hermione volunteer to help find legal precedents to present at the appeal which can overturn the sentence and save Buckbeak.

After Christmas, Hagrid has regained some of his confidence and teaches the class about salamanders. As Buckbeak's appeal approaches, Hermione helps Hagrid prepare a defence. However, Buckbeak loses the case and is sentenced to be executed. Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Hagrid before the execution, but they are unable to comfort him; as Fudge, Dumbledore, and the executioner approach, Hagrid shoos the trio out the back door. While returning to the castle, they hear the dull thud of the executioner's axe.

Hermione uses a Time-Turner that she has been using to attend multiple classes to take her and Harry back in time three hours. They return to Hagrid's hut and save Buckbeak from execution; an overjoyed Hagrid, unaware of Hermione's time-turner, is convinced he escaped on his own.

The next day, Hagrid tells Harry, Ron, and Hermione that Buckbeak escaped, and about Remus Lupin's resignation as the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.

Goblet of Fire[edit]

Now in his second year as Care of Magical Creatures teacher, Hagrid has regained enough confidence to start the class learning about something he calls Skrewts. These creatures, which initially look like shell-less, deformed lobsters, are totally new to all the students and to Hagrid; one of the things that Hagrid has the students doing is try to determine what exactly Skrewts eat. One gets the feeling that Hagrid, in his unscientific way, is trying to teach the class how to determine the characteristics of a hitherto unknown species. He will later, with the only somewhat willing assistance of the class, study their activity over a longer period, attempt to determine whether they want nesting boxes in which to hibernate (they don't), and give them exercise by having the students walk them on leashes (which becomes difficult as the Skrewts become as large as the students).

When the delegation from Beauxbatons arrives, Hagrid is given the task of caring for the horses. Shortly after this, the Trio visit Hagrid, and find that he has apparently become besotted with Madame Maxime, the Headmistress of Beauxbatons; he has tried to comb his hair with little success, and slick it down with something like axle grease. They talk about the Skrewts, and also about the upcoming tasks in the Tournament. Hagrid apparently knows something about the tasks, but unusually he does not divulge what is in store for the Champions. As they prepare to return to the castle for dinner, Hagrid rather overdoes the eau de cologne, and goes outside to wash it off in the rain barrel. Seeing Madame Maxime leading her pupils up to the school, he goes to join her, apparently forgetting all about the Trio still in his hut.

After Harry's name comes out of the Goblet, Hagrid asks if he has any idea who put his name in. Harry is very relieved that Hagrid believes he did not put his own name in, but is unable to venture any guesses.

Just before the First Task, Harry is in Hogsmeade with Hermione. Harry, to avoid the taunts he is receiving, is under the Invisibility Cloak. Seeing Hagrid in the Three Broomsticks, he waves, then realizes that Hagrid can't see him; Professor Moody, who is with him, can see him, however, and brings Hagrid over to Hermione's table. Hagrid then asks Harry to bring his cloak to Hagrid's hut at midnight that night. Harry, who has an appointment to speak with Sirius Black at 1AM, decides that he can just make it. Hagrid tells him to put on his cloak and follow, then knocks on the door of the Beauxbatons carriage and asks Madame Maxime to accompany him. Harry wonders exactly what it is that Hagrid expects him to see, but is alarmed when Hagrid and Madame Maxime walk around the end of the Forbidden Forest to a corral in which there are four Dragons. Hagrid is entranced: they are beautiful. Charlie Weasley, one of the wizards there to manage the dragons, asks if it was wise to bring Madame Maxime there, after all she has a student who will be in the competition. Hagrid responds that he just thought she would like to see them. Harry, deeply disturbed by the prospect of having to get past the dragons, quietly and invisibly departs.

It is when the Skrewts have destroyed their nesting boxes, and Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Hagrid are finishing rounding them up, that Rita Skeeter appears and asks Hagrid for an interview. Hagrid will later report that, annoyingly, the interview seemed to be all about Harry, and had nothing to do with anything Hagrid was doing.

At the Yule Ball, Harry and Ron overhear a conversation between Madame Maxime and Hagrid. Hagrid reveals that he is half-Giant, and asks whether it was Madame Maxime's mother or father. Madame Maxime is highly affronted, says that she has no Giant ancestry and is just big-boned, and storms off. Hagrid, shattered, sits for a while and then shuffles off to his hut.

Shortly afterwards, a story appears in the Daily Prophet, that says that Hagrid is half-Giant. The Trio have no idea how Rita Skeeter, who wrote the story, could have learned about Hagrid's ancestry. Hagrid retreats to his hut and does not come out, either to do his groundskeeping duties or to teach. An alternate teacher, Professor Grubbly-Plank takes over teaching Care of Magical Creatures, and apparently does a better job than Hagrid, teaching about Unicorns, and immediately winning over the hearts of the female half of the class. Draco Malfoy, meanwhile, taunts Harry that the article will have finished Hagrid's teaching career, as many people will be afraid that Hagrid's Giant ancestry will come out and he would eat their children. Hagrid remains closeted in his hut until Hermione, angered by a meeting with Rita during a Hogsmeade weekend, hammers on the hut door and demands entrance. She is taken aback to find that Dumbledore is there, but Dumbledore invites them in for tea, and is quite obviously bracing Hagrid to return to duties. He tells Hagrid about his brother Aberforth, who was charged with performing unnatural charms on a goat, and how he weathered the resulting press exposure. As he leaves, he reminds Hagrid that he has not accepted Hagrid's resignation, and expects to see Hagrid at breakfast on Monday, and expects also that he will start his teaching duties again. Hagrid says that his father would not be proud of how he is acting, and shows the Trio a picture of himself and his father. He then asks how Harry is getting on with the Golden Egg clue for the Second Task, and Harry says he pretty well has it defeated. Somehow, Harry feels particularly bad about having to lie to Hagrid.

Returning to his teaching job, Hagrid takes up with Unicorns where Professor Grubbly-Plank had left off. He seems to be trying to show that he can teach as well as she can, and he has captured a pair of foals, much to the delight of Parvati and Lavender. It seems that he does know many useful things about Unicorns, as well.

Harry, looking out the window for relief from listening to Ron and Hermione squabbling, sees Hagrid digging near his hut. Madame Maxime walks over to talk to him, but is apparently rebuffed. The next day, Hagrid introduces them to some Nifflers. He says that they are very often used in mines, as they are attracted to bright objects, and are very good at digging. He has everyone select a Niffler, and promises a prize for the holder of the Niffler that retrieves the most gold from the patch of ground Harry had seen him digging up. He warns Goyle that it is Leprechaun gold, and will vanish shortly, so there's no point in trying to steal it. In the end, Ron's Niffler has retrieved the most gold, but Ron is pensive. He recalls that he had given Harry a fistful of Leprechaun gold at the Quidditch world cup to pay for the Omnioculars and is upset that Harry had not even noticed it vanishing.

When Bartemius Crouch appears at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, Harry, leaving Viktor Krum on guard, runs off to fetch Dumbledore. When Harry and Dumbledore return, Krum alone is present. Dumbledore sends for Hagrid, who arrives shortly with his crossbow. Dumbledore then sends Hagrid off to fetch Professor Karkaroff. Karkaroff immediately blames Dumbledore for attacking his Champion, which enrages Hagrid to the point that he pushes Karkaroff up against a tree, only letting him down when Dumbledore orders him to. Dumbledore then tells Hagrid to take Harry to Gryffindor tower, and asks Harry to remain there until morning.

In the preparations for the Third Task, it is mentioned that Hagrid had been responsible for planting and growing the hedges that now fill the Quidditch pitch, and that he would be providing some of the creatures that the Champions would have to face. Harry, knowing the sorts of creatures that Hagrid is fond of, finds this rather worrying.

At dinner before the Third Task, Harry notices that Madame Maxime's eyes are red, and that Hagrid keeps glancing at her.

When the third task comes around, Hagrid is apparently one of the marshals, who will be keeping an eye on the maze for distress signals from the Champions. While the other marshals are wearing their red ribbons on their hats, Hagrid has no hat and therefore wears his marshal's ribbon on the back of his waistcoat. As it turns out, Harry encounters a Skrewt in the maze, so at least some of the challenges are, in fact, Hagrid's doing.

As Harry is recovering from his adventures in the maze, he hears argument between Dumbledore and Cornelius Fudge as to whether or not Harry's story can be believed. When Fudge refuses to believe that Voldemort has returned, Dumbledore asks Professor McGonagall to ask Hagrid and Madame Maxime to meet with him in his office.

After he has recovered, and with no Defence Against the Dark Arts classes to go to, the Trio can visit Hagrid more often. One one such visit, they notice that there are two bucket-sized teacups on the table, and Hagrid confirms that he's been having tea with Madame Maxime. He says that Dumbledore had given him a mission, though he couldn't talk about it yet, and that he has pretty much convinced Madame Maxime to join him. Hagrid startles Harry by saying that he was pretty sure Voldemort would be coming back one day, that it was only a matter of time. He goes on to say that Harry had done as well as his father would have, and there's no higher praise than that. Harry smiles for the first time in days.

Order of the Phoenix[edit]

At the beginning of the school year, Harry is deeply concerned that Hagrid has not returned to Hogwarts; his classes are being taught by Professor Grubbly-Plank, and no one will say where Hagrid is or when he will return.

When he reappears well into winter, Harry, Hermione, and Ron secretly visit him at his hut. They are shocked by Hagrid's battered appearance, although he does not initially explain what has happened. Harry, however, alludes to the events of his summer, including the attack by Dementors on Primrose Crescent, saying that if Hagrid tells his story, Harry will reciprocate. Under this impetus, Hagrid does tell them that he and Madame Maxime, the gigantic Headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy, were on a secret mission for Dumbledore to recruit the Giants to their side. Though Hagrid is forthright about most of the events of the mission, he is still apparently hiding something, because he will not say what took him so long (Madame Maxime has apparently been back at Beauxbatons for months), or how he got so badly injured. He does mention that he had looked to see if his mother, Fridwulfa, was there, but she had apparently died some time before. His story is cut short by the arrival of Professor Umbridge, whose distrust of what she terms "half-breeds", and the footprints of the Trio heading to Hagrid's hut and not returning, have made her suspicious of Hagrid. The Trio, under Harry's Invisibility Cloak, watch as Umbridge, speaking as if to one who is not completely mentally competent, explains her role at the school and that she will be checking his teaching abilities. After she departs, the Trio ask Hagrid to choose something safe and Ministry-approved to teach them, but Hagrid seems unconcerned. Hermione returns to Hagrid's hut the following day to plead with him, saying that if he doesn't teach the Ministry-approved course, he will be in danger of losing his job, but Hagrid is unmoved.

In his Care of Magical Creatures class, Hagrid introduces Harry's class to Thestrals, winged, horse-like animals that can only be seen by humans who have witnessed death. Having seen Cedric Diggory being killed, Harry can now see the strange reptilian creatures, as can some of the other students – Neville Longbottom, who saw his grandfather die, and "a stringy Slytherin". Hagrid's teaching is interrupted by Umbridge's appearance to "inspect" his class; her inspection is so clearly adversarial that Hagrid is quite put off his stride and is unable to teach effectively.

It turns out later that Umbridge has put Hagrid on probation. Hagrid sees this as the first step to sacking him. Later in the book, we will find that Umbridge has started attending all his classes and taking notes on his apparent shortcomings.

On February 14th, arriving at the Three Broomsticks early for a meeting with Hermione, Harry sees Hagrid at the bar. Unusually morose, Hagrid talks about how Harry and he are so much alike, both orphans. He then speaks about how important family is. Harry asks what has gotten Hagrid so upset, but Hagrid doesn't answer, setting down his mug and heading out into the rain.

When Umbridge fires the Divination teacher, Professor Trelawney, Dumbledore hires a new one, Firenze. Firenze, a centaur, was previously living in the Forbidden Forest; he gives Harry a message to pass on to Hagrid, saying that Hagrid's attempt is not working. Neither he, nor Hagrid, when Harry talks to him later in class, choose to explain to Harry exactly what this "attempt" is.

Late in the year, Hagrid becomes convinced that Umbridge is about to get him sacked. Hagrid pulls Harry and Hermione away from the final Quidditch match of the year, to enlist their help in something he is doing in the Forbidden Forest if he should get sent away. It turns out that Hagrid had found his half-brother Grawp living with the Giants, where he was being mistreated because he was so small. Hagrid had brought him back to Hogwarts, although with great difficulty and personal injury. He has hidden Grawp in the Forbidden Forest where he is trying to teach him manners and English. He extracts a promise from a terrified Harry and Hermione that they will continue his education if Hagrid is sent away.

Eventually, Umbridge's hatred of so-called "half-breeds" leads her to sack Hagrid on the pretexts that he is incompetent, and that he has introduced Nifflers into her office. Her attempt is done with great drama, the assistance of at least five Aurors, and multiple ineffective stun jinxes that Harry witnesses during his midnight Astronomy OWL exam. As part of the arrest, Professor McGonagall is hit with multiple Stunners and ends up having to go to St. Mungo's Hospital. Hagrid escapes, carrying his boarhound Fang, who has been Stunned.

When Umbridge is removed and Dumbledore reinstated as Headmaster, Hagrid returns to the school and regains his teaching position. Harry, finding the concern of his friends in the Hospital Wing too intrusive, visits him to talk about the death of Sirius, his godfather, but very quickly discovers that he cannot get any peace there either, and uses Ron and Hermione as an excuse to leave Hagrid's hut.

Half-Blood Prince[edit]

Hagrid's role in this episode is much decreased, because his main point of contact with Harry is through the Care Of Magical Creatures classes, and Harry has chosen to not take NEWT-level studies in that course.

It is mentioned that Harry had inherited Buckbeak at the death of Sirius Black. Dumbledore says that Hagrid has renamed him Witherwings and will be delighted to take care of him.

Hagrid acts as guard for the Weasley family and Harry as they visit Diagon Alley to shop for school supplies. Harry is very pleased to see him, particularly as the alternative would be a squad of Aurors.

After the Arrival Feast, Hagrid meets Harry and Ron in the entrance hall and says that if they arrive early to Care of Magical Creatures, they will be able to say hello to Witherwings. Harry, Ron, and later Hermione, are concerned as to how they are going to break it to Hagrid that they have not chosen to take Care of Magical Creatures this year. Some time later, Harry decides that it is because they are not taking his class that Hagrid seems to be so aloof, and resolves to visit him. The Trio go to his hut after Quidditch tryouts, and the visit is initially awkward, but it turns out that a large part of Hagrid's preoccupation is because of Hagrid's ancient giant spider, Aragog, who is very ill. Hagrid comments that the Trio's schedules are very full, but they might have managed to fit Care of Magical Creatures in if they had Time-turners, but Hermione mentions that they were all destroyed at the Battle at the Ministry the previous year.

When Katie Bell, during the Hogsmeade weekend in October, touches the cursed necklace and is injured, Harry runs for help. The first person he runs into is Hagrid, and Hagrid carries Katie back to Hogwarts at the run.

After Aragog dies, Harry and Professor Slughorn come to console Hagrid and to give the creature a proper burial. Following the burial, Slughorn, Harry, and Hagrid take part in what might be considered an impromptu wake, during which Harry obtains the missing Horcrux memory from Slughorn.

When Ron is poisoned on his birthday, Hagrid comes to visit him in the Hospital Wing. As he, Harry, and Hermione leave to give Ron some time with his family, Hagrid mentions that Dumbledore seems upset with Severus Snape. He catches himself, but under questioning from Harry he reveals that he had been at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and had overheard bits of a conversation between Dumbledore and Snape in which Snape seemed to be saying that though he had promised to do something, he might just change his mind. There was also some reference to the investigations in Slytherin, which Hagrid assumed had to do with the necklace.

During the tower battle at Hogwarts, Hagrid tries to prevent Death Eaters from fleeing, but he only manages to delay one of them who sets fire to Hagrid's hut. After Dumbledore's death, Hagrid removes his body to safety, and later attends the meeting of the Heads of House where the future of the school is being determined. Hagrid says that he feels he doesn't really belong at that meeting, but says that Dumbledore would have wanted the school to go on. He also says that he would think that students might want to pay their respects to Dumbledore, and so he would not expect to send the students home on the Express until after the funeral.

At the funeral itself, Hagrid carries Dumbledore's wrapped body to the bier, and then returns to the rear of the gathered crowd, where he breaks down in tears and is roughly comforted by his half-brother, Grawp.

Deathly Hallows[edit]

Hagrid, once again riding Sirius' flying motorcycle, is given the task of transporting the real Harry Potter to the home of Ted Tonks. As Hagrid occupies so much of the motorcycle's saddle, a sidecar has been added, into which Harry uncomfortably squeezes himself, his rucksack, his broom, and Hedwig's cage. The motorcycle has further been modified to emit brick walls, nets, and dragon fire out of its tailpipe; these are used against the pursuing Death Eaters with limited effect, and in fact the first use of the dragon fire addition results in the sidecar mountings failing partway. Hagrid's later attempt to repair the mountings results in them shearing completely, and Harry and the sidecar fall off. Hagrid circles around and collects Harry from the falling sidecar, from which Harry is only able to retrieve his rucksack. Once the pursuing Death Eaters determine that this is the real Harry, they break off the attack; at Harry's urging, Hagrid then uses the dragon fire again to speed them towards the Tonks home. Many Death Eaters, including Voldemort, catch up with them near the end of the journey; Hagrid at one point leaps off the motorcycle to wrestle with a Death Eater who is trying to curse Harry, and falls from there to the ground. When Harry reaches him later, he doesn't seem to be moving, but Harry then loses consciousness.

When he recovers, he asks Ted Tonks where Hagrid is, Ted assures him that Hagrid is fine. Hagrid comes in shortly after that. Ted ushers them over to the Portkey which will take them to The Burrow, and while they are waiting for the Portkey to activate, Hagrid asks where Hedwig is. Harry has to tell him that Hedwig is dead; she had been struck early in the battle by a killing curse intended for Harry.

Once they reach The Burrow, Hagrid largely moves into the background of the action, trying to recover his nerves with brandy and Firewhiskey.

Hagrid is present for Harry's birthday, wearing his best, hairy, horrible suit, and gives him a Mokeskin bag. This is used for valuables; things placed in it can only be retrieved by the owner. Harry will use it to keep a number of objects which he feels are valuable throughout the book.

The wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour is the following day, so Hagrid stays overnight; however, The Burrow is far too full to allow him any place to stay, so he sets up a tent in a neighboring field. He is mentioned briefly as, just before the wedding, he mistakes where he is meant to sit and crushes an entire row of folding chairs, before being shown the reinforced bench which was intended for him.

When Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood try to steal Gryffindor's sword, they are given detention, which is apparently served with Hagrid.

At the battle at Hogwarts, Hagrid appears, flying in through a window; apparently he has been visiting Grawp in his cave outside Hogsmeade, and when he was called to the battle, he asked Grawp to set him down inside the walls. Grawp, misunderstanding him, had thrown him through the window. Later in the battle, he is carried away by giant spiders, children of Aragog. He is later found in the clearing where Aragog's children lived, which has been commandeered by the Death Eaters. The Death Eaters force Hagrid to carry Harry's apparently-lifeless body back to the lawns in front of Hogwarts. Hagrid is evidently crying too hard to notice the pulse beating strongly in Harry's throat. When hostilities re-open, and Harry hides under his cloak, Hagrid is the first to notice that he has vanished.

Strengths[edit]

One of Hagrid's main strengths is his half-Giant status. This means that his tough skin protects him against many spells and physical injuries. He is also immensely strong physically. Although a half-Giant might be expected to be fierce, Hagrid is one of the most soft-hearted people Harry knows. However, he can fight when necessary. He is one of Dumbledore's most trusted friends.

Hagrid is also unafraid of most physical threats, standing up to a squad of armed Centaurs, dealing with the vicious Blast-Ended Skrewts, and trying to domesticate a dragon. It could be said that this bravery is a weakness, as it tends to lead him into situations that are untenable for those who are traveling with him, such as the Trio.

Hargid's half-Giant status allows him to interact and negotiate with Giants at a level that humans cannot, as evidenced in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Weaknesses[edit]

After he was accused of opening the Chamber of Secrets, he was expelled and forbidden to do magic. His wand was snapped in two (the pieces were later reassembled and hidden in a pink umbrella, which never seems to be far from Hagrid). This seriously hindered his magical education, and as a result, he is rather poor at casting spells.

Hagrid has an unusual obsession with all "interesting" creatures—which usually means very dangerous ones. He tends to forget just how dangerous certain animals can be, and so has gotten Harry and his friends into some bad situations. Perhaps ironically, it is his physical strength that proves a weakness here; being half-Giant, he is extremely strong, and thus is able to deal with quite dangerous creatures, but he tends to forget that others are not as strong as he is.

On several occasions, Hagrid has allowed facts to slip out that he was meant to keep secret. We see this a number of times in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, for instance, when he reveals the connection with Nicolas Flamel, and the method of bypassing the three-headed dog. The tendency continues through the entire series; in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we see Hagrid revealing that he has overheard a conversation between Dumbledore and Snape.

Emotionally, Hagrid seems quite immature, for all that he is apparently about 60 years old. His immediate reaction to almost any setback is to retreat from all contact, and possibly to get drunk. He shares Harry's tendency to try and run away from troubles; unlike Harry, though, he never turns of his own volition to face the problem, only doing so when he is forced, often by Dumbledore or by the Trio. His confidence is easily destroyed when dealing with antagonistic people, notably Draco Malfoy, Draco's father Lucius, and Professor Umbridge.

Hagrid is not the best cook. The Trio usually avoids Hagrid's offerings, particularly his rock cakes that are more rock than cake. Hagrid's attempts at cooking are something of a running joke throughout the series, though apparently the birthday cakes that he has made for Harry over the years have been well received.

Relationships with Other Characters[edit]

During Harry's fourth year, he developed a romantic relationship with the half-giant headmistress of Beauxbatons, Madame Maxime.

He has generally been friendly with Harry, Ron, and Hermione through the series. His opinion is valued by Dumbledore, who allowed Hagrid to stay as Grounds Keeper after being expelled.

Analysis[edit]

Hagrid is interesting in part because of what he isn't. It seems initially that Hagrid is to be a sort of a father figure for Harry, with his size, gentleness, kindness towards Harry, and the fact that it was Hagrid who rescued him from his horrible aunt and uncle. However, while he is a comfort and a confidante for Harry, the father figure role would sit very awkwardly on him.

Hagrid is an odd hybrid of maturity and immaturity, which makes him a sort of a conduit between the professors and the Trio. So, while Harry genuinely likes Hagrid and respects him, it is not as an adult; rather, Harry sees him as one at largely his own level: an instructor perhaps in the ways of wizards, but not a father figure. In fact, Harry, Hermione, and Ron on several occasions act as sort of a combined parent figure for Hagrid:

  • in Prisoner of Azkaban, the trio are instrumental in getting Hagrid back on his feet after Buckbeak injures Draco Malfoy;
  • again in Prisoner of Azkaban, it is they who brace him up for the defence of Buckbeak, and who provide moral support before the scheduled execution;
  • in Goblet of Fire, it is the Trio who manage to rein him in when he is falling for Madame Maxime;
  • when the news of his being half-Giant comes out in Goblet of Fire, it is partly the Trio who get him out of his hut and back teaching again.

Add to this Hagrid's habit of responding to every setback, and every victory, by getting drunk – in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he seems to be able to get reeling drunk within half an hour of Buckbeak's escape – and we can see that, even at an apparent age of 60 years, Hagrid is still often reacting like an adolescent.

Hagrid does show a certain amount of maturity, of course; his decision to bring his half-brother Grawp back with him, to attempt to civilize Grawp, and in particular the resolve with which he sticks to that decision, shows that the mission to the Giants, and possibly the influence of Olympe Maxime, have matured him.

Can Hagrid do magic?[edit]

Of course he can, though he's not supposed to, at least in the first two books. In fact, we see him do so twice in the early chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, once when he gives Dudley a pig's tail, and once when he sends the boat back to the mainland by tapping it with his umbrella. Hermione asks, before Hallowe'en in that same book, whether he has used an Engorgement Charm on the pumpkins in his garden, and he seems to admit to having done so. Presumably, once he has been exonerated of the fifty-year old accusation that he had released the monster from the Chamber of Secrets, which happens at the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the prohibition against Hagrid's using magic will have been lifted. However, we are never explicitly told this. It is true that Hagrid, having been expelled in his third year, will not have as much magic ability as he ought to, and there is no sign of his either getting his original wand repaired or getting a new one. There is no real explanation of this; perhaps it is simply that Hagrid, diffident as always, is reluctant to start practicing the magic that has been so long forbidden him.

There is some question about whether Hagrid, in later books, thinks he can use magic, particularly because of his statement to Harry, Ron, and Hermione that while he and Madame Maxime were visiting the Giants in Europe to negotiate with them, he could not use magic. Careful reading of the passage, however, indicates that Hagrid's not using magic at that point may not have been due to the original prohibition. Several times, Hagrid uses the first person plural when talking about using magic: "we couldn't use magic", which would indicate that whatever reason was involved, it equally affected himself and Madame Maxime. In the two places in his story where he mentions this, he also mentions the specific reason for the prohibition. They could not use magic while traveling because they were being watched, by the Ministry and possibly also by Death Eaters, and they could not use magic around the Giants because that was something Wizards did, and using magic would antagonize the people they were trying to negotiate with.

There is thus no evidence whether the prohibition against Hagrid's using magic was actually vacated or not. The reader does take away the impression, however, that Hagrid chose to keep whatever magic he did somewhat furtive, though it remains uncertain whether it was still forbidden him, or whether he was simply embarrassed by his relative lack of ability.

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. How might Hagrid's life be different if he hadn't been expelled?
  2. How has Hagrid shown that he is trustworthy?
  3. How has Hagrid Helped Harry Potter in the years he has been at Hogwarts?

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

In an interview with MSNBC following the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the following appeared:

Hagrid, actually, had been safe in Rowling’s mind from the very beginning. Before her first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was even published, Rowling planned for Hagrid to carry Harry out of the forest at the end of Deathly Hallows, believing that Harry was dead.
"It was very significant," Rowling said. "Hagrid brings Harry from the Dursleys. He takes him into the wizarding world . . . He was sort of his guardian and his guide . . . And now I wanted Hagrid to be the one to lead Harry out of the forest."

In this context, Hagrid can be seen very much as the midwife, carrying or leading Harry from one stage in his life to the next. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, he carries the infant Harry from the wreckage of the house in Godric's Hollow, to his new life with the Dursleys. He again leads Harry to the discovery of the Wizarding world, and his own role in it, by means of the trip to Diagon Alley. And he is, of course, the one who pilots the fleet of boats that carry all the first-years, including Harry, into Hogwarts before their Sorting. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it is again Hagrid, and interestingly again Sirius' flying motorbike, that Hagrid uses to carry Harry out of his childhood home with the Dursleys and into his adult life. It is only proper that Hagrid is the one who carries him out of the Forest and into the place where he can achieve his final victory over Voldemort. The only major transition for which Hagrid is not present is the Advance Guard, carrying Harry to Grimmauld Place in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and inducting him into the Order.

A large part of the reason that Hagrid is unable to do magic, we are led to believe, is that his wand was broken when he was expelled. There are some inconsistencies in this, however. We have to compare Hagrid's experience with Ron's in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Ron's wand was broken in the crash landing of the flying car, and as a result, throughout the year his attempts at doing magic were repeatedly marred by unexpected effects from his wand: clouds of grey smoke, firecracker noises, and on at least two occasions, backfires. We see none of these effects when Hagrid attempts magic. Against this, we must also compare what happens when Harry's wand is broken in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "repaired" by Hermione, when called upon to work a spell it simply falls apart. Again, we do not see this happen when Hagrid attempts magic. While this must be purely speculation, we can suggest an explanation for this. We learn, in the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, that the Elder Wand can repair Harry's wand. We know that Dumbledore had somehow arranged to get Hagrid the groundskeeper's job at Hogwarts after his expulsion, which would suggest strongly that Dumbledore had not bought Riddle's story that Hagrid had been opening the Chamber of Secrets. Our belief is that Hagrid's expulsion happened in about 1942, and we have learned that Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in 1945, and would have gained control of the Elder Wand at that point. It is possible, though nowhere suggested in the story, that Dumbledore repaired Hagrid's wand sometime after that. Hagrid's weak magic, then, is likely partly due to his only having received three years of formal magical schooling, and largely due to his having to hide his spellcasting to keep from getting Dumbledore into trouble. After his name is cleared, presumably he is allowed to use magic again, but likely does not, partly because he has gotten out of the habit of openly using magic, but largely because of lack of confidence in his own abilities.