- Department of Mysteries / The Quibbler
What Would a Boggart Turn into if Your Worst Fear Was Heights?
by MuggleNet · Published March 6, 2012 · Updated August 8, 2021
By Susanna Dodds
ABSTRACT: This essay describes a flaw in a boggart. 5 in 100 people suffer from acrophobia (the fear of heights) so how does a boggart represent that? There are many things that people fear that isn’t a thing but a feeling. Heights aren’t a thing, they are a sensation.
Boggarts, as we know them, are shape-shifting creatures that take on the form of the viewer’s worst fear.
Well, what if the viewer’s worst fear was heights or drowning? What would it turn into?
For heights, supposing it would turn into a high building or a cliff edge, how is that going to scare you? Besides the fact that the building or cliff edge would be in miniature (proved by the fact that Professor Remus Lupin’s boggart was a miniature full moon) you are clearly not standing on a high area so why would you be scared? Being afraid of heights doesn’t mean you will be afraid of high areas if you aren’t even on them. It may show you in miniature falling off a high area but again how would that scare you? You aren’t really falling and you do not feel the sensation of falling.
For drowning, the boggart might present itself to the viewer as a body of water. But how is that going to scare them? The viewer isn’t afraid of water; they drink the stuff every day. They are afraid of the sensation of drowning. Of not being able to breathe or knowing you are about to die. An image of you drowning again, I think, wouldn’t scare you as you do not feel the drowning you are just watching it.
Maybe it would turn into your second worst fear, but then that defeats the purpose. The boggart is supposed to represent the viewer’s WORST fear. Not second worst.
Lupin’s boggart was the full moon. His fear was not the full moon but what he became when the full moon was out. He was afraid of when the time would come for him to go through the painful transformation of turning into a werewolf. Thus the boggart grasped onto the closest physical emblem of that fear as it could. The moon. The boggart, I think, never frightened Lupin, as a miniature moon was never going to change him. Lupin was able to brush the boggart aside with a quick ‘ridikulus’ . Considering others in class, such as Ron Weasley, whose boggart turned into exactly what he feared, a giant spider, it seems as if he actually had to work harder than lupin. The same situation occurred with many of the other students including Harry Potter, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnegan, Parvati Patil, Lavender Brown, Molly Weasley and Neville Longbottom. Hermione Granger is also a funny one. She fears failing. This is a fear of a feeling but it can be translated into a physical being (Professor Minerva McGonagall saying she had failed everything.) It terrified Hermione to the point of tears. Making it one of the few sensation fears to transform into a boggart the user actually fears.
This is the end of my essay but I would like to leave with a question, if your greatest fear was a Bogart, what would you see?
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The Boggart-Banishing Spell  ( Riddikulus )  was a charm that was used to defeat a Boggart .  It caused the creature to assume a form that was humorous to the caster, along with a whip-crack noise, thereby taking away the Boggart's ability to terrorise. 
Boggarts were defeated by laughter, so forcing them to assume an amusing form was the first step to defeating them.  However, because Boggarts were amortal ,  this spell does not truly destroy them, similar to the Patronus Charm , but merely "banish" them — meaning the defeated Boggart will vanish, and presumably re-materialise elsewhere; it is also possible that Boggarts did not dissipate and instead fled, afraid of laughter.
- 3 Known uses
- 4 Known practitioners
- 5 Etymology
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Notes and references
History [ ]
This was one of the spells that Professor Albus Dumbledore taught his Defence Against the Dark Arts class in the 1910s . Among those students were Newton Scamander and Leta Lestrange ; the aforementioned of which mastered the spell, whilst the latter failed to do so. 
At the start of the 1986–1987 school year , Professor Pomona Sprout used this spell to banish a Boggart that manifested in the Greenhouse after Herbology class.  Throughout the school year, Jacob's sibling used this spell on various occasions against Boggarts that had been released due to someone having tampered with the Vault of Fear , including the break-in of the Vault by themselves.  
In September 1993 , Professor Remus Lupin taught this spell to his third year Defence Against the Dark Arts class in.  Thanks to Lupin's teaching, Harry Potter was able to use this against a Boggart in the Triwizard Maze in 1995 . 
This spell was apart of the practical examination of the Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. 
During the Calamity of the 2010s , members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force often used this charm to combat Boggart Confoundables in order to release Foundables . 
Casting [ ]
The comical nature of this charm
A simple charm that required the force of mind, to cast, the spell caster must first acknowledge what they fear the most (as it will most likely be what the Boggart will take the form of) and then visualise it into something amusing.
The problem was because the Boggart would have assumed said form at the moment of direct encounter, the one attempting to use this charm would usually have lost concentration after seeing the Boggart manifest their worst fears, making this spell useless. As such, it was always advisable to first take one step at a time when practising this spell. 
Known uses [ ]
Known practitioners [ ].
- Unidentified Muggle-born Hogwarts student 
Etymology [ ]
"Riddikulus" is an adaptation of the English adjective "ridiculous" as well as of the Latin noun ridiculum ("joke") and Latin verb ridere ("to laugh").
Behind the scenes [ ]
This spell's icon in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
The spell's wand movement path as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Despite the spell canonically producing no light, the July 2018 trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald shows a brief flash of white light upon the incantation being spoken, both times the spell is cast. This may have been done for stylistic choices.
- The effect of the Boggart-Banishing Spell varies throughout the series. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , it has its stated effect of forcing a Boggart into an amusing form and otherwise does not harm it. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , however, Harry uses the spell to make a Boggart-Dementor explode into a wisp of smoke (though it is possible he found a Dementor collapsing into wisps of smoke "funny", and the Boggart was forced to take the form of an exploded Dementor, more than it actually exploded in earnest). Various anecdotes on Pottermore describe Riddikulus transforming Boggarts in a variety of ways, not all of which being directly related to making the Boggart funny.
- The wand movement given for the Boggart-Banishing Spell resembles a large grin, likely on purpose.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 , only Ron and Hermione learn this spell due to Harry being locked out of the class by Draco Malfoy while Lupin is teaching it to his class. Harry instead learns Expecto Patronum from Lupin to defeat his Dementor boggart, and in return Ron and Hermione do not learn Expecto Patronum . 
- In LEGO Dimensions , Riddikulus is one of Hermione's abilities, though it does nothing more than break nearby objects and damage nearby enemies. 
Appearances [ ]
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (Appears in flashback(s))
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Dimensions
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Notes and references [ ]
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Chapter 7 ( The Boggart in the Wardrobe )
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) - Chapter 11 ( Boggart in the Wardrobe )
- ↑ Pottermore Moment - Book 3, Chapter 7
- ↑ Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Boggart" at Wizarding World
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay , Scene 69
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery , Year 3, Chapter 1 ( Year Three Begins ) - Herbology Lesson "Valerian Sprigs"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery , Year 3, Chapter 7 ( Jacob's Room )
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery , Year 3, Chapter 9 ( The Vault of Fear )
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , Chapter 31 ( The Third Task )
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , Chapter 31 ( O.W.L.s )
- ↑ Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Chapter 16 ( Professor Trelawney's Prediction )
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , Chapter 9 ( The Woes of Mrs Weasley )
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
- ↑ LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- ↑ LEGO Dimensions
- Harry Potter
- 1 Tom Riddle
- 3 Harry Potter
Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Magic/Boggart
- 2 Extended Description
- 4 Questions
- 5 Greater Picture
Overview [ edit | edit source ]
A boggart is a shapeshifter that usually lurks in dark spaces. It has no definite form, taking the shape of that which is most feared by the person who encounters it. When not in the sight of a person, it is believed to look like a dark blob.
Extended Description [ edit | edit source ]
To repel or destroy a boggart, it must be laughed at. The spell Riddikulus can be cast to force the boggart to assume a generally amusing shape of what the caster mentally conceives.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , the Boggart appears three times.
- In Professor Lupin's Defence Against the Dark Arts class , we are introduced to the Boggart and his characteristics, and the fact that this allows us to see people's deepest fears; this also allows us a comical jab at Professor Snape , as Neville produces a simulacrum of Snape dressed in his grandmother's favorite outfit. Lupin does prevent Harry from triggering the Boggart's defence mechanism, which Harry feels is unfair; but Lupin later explains this as being done to prevent a simulacrum of Lord Voldemort from appearing in front of the class. This in particular shows that Lupin is much more aware of the class and its needs and concerns than any of the other Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers that have preceded him in the series.
- Later, Lupin uses a second Boggart to train Harry in the use of the Patronus charm and its use against Dementors .
- Either this same Boggart, or a third one, is then used in the final exam for Defence Against the Dark Arts . In this, we see Hermione's insecurity about her grades – her greatest fear is revealed to be " Professor McGonagall – she said I failed everything!" And apparently this is such a great fear that she is unable to invoke Riddikulus against it.
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , Harry encounters a Boggart in the final task of the Triwizard Tournament . It takes the form of a Dementor upon seeing Harry.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , a Boggart is discovered in a desk in the Headquarters of the Order . It is identified by Alastor Moody using his magical eye, whereupon Mrs. Weasley goes to eliminate it. Ultimately she is unable to, and Remus Lupin, possibly alerted by Mad-Eye Moody, arrives to vanquish it and rescue her.
Analysis [ edit | edit source ]
The Boggart has two main purposes in the series: one is to reveal characters' deepest fears, as the Mirror Erised reveals their deepest desires; the other is to give Harry a "dementor" that he can battle, without risking having his soul sucked out. The latter is the most important, as Harry will be called upon to fight Dementors, and must somehow be prepared for that struggle; but their ability to show the greatest fears of the characters will prove useful as well.
The appearance of the Boggart in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is particularly interesting, not for the fact of the Boggart, but for the illumination it provides. This episode allows Harry to see what Mrs. Weasley's greatest fears are: that her family, or Harry himself, might end up dead. Naturally, Harry is surprised to see that his well-being is so important to Mrs. Weasley, though he does not comment on it at the time. His thoughts are more about his recent upset at having been passed over for Prefectship , and the realization of just how trivial that was relative to the other possible outcomes for the next few years. The author does not explicitly show us the effect this revelation has on Harry in the long term, but it would be safe to say that Harry is heartened by the discovery that there is someone in the world who cares so much about him.
It is somewhat illuminating to note the form Boggarts take when confronted with specific characters in the story. For Ron , a confirmed arachnophobe, it is an Acromantula . Hermione is confronted with the spectre of failing all her courses. Harry, as mentioned, is forced to deal with a Dementor, while Neville faces Professor Snape, and Mrs. Weasley sees, in succession, the death of all her family members and Harry. The Boggart taking the shape of an animated, severed hand for Seamus Finnigan tells us little, but it taking the shape of a full moon when confronted by Lupin would tell us a great deal, if we recognized it as a full moon. It can be interesting to speculate on what other characters would see; Ginny , following the events in the Chamber of Secrets the previous year, might be expected to see herself as a puppet, or to see a puppet master; Fred and George , we suspect, would each see the other, dead, though it is uncertain if a Boggart would ever find one of them alone; and it is a safe assumption that Voldemort would see his own lifeless body.
In connection with this, we note the apparent mindlessness of the Boggart's response. Specifically when confronted by Lupin, the Boggart becomes a small, and pointless, simulacrum of the full moon. It does not change even when Lupin casually brushes it aside, indicating an unawareness that its understanding of Lupin's deepest fear is deeply flawed. This indicates that the Boggart's response is automatic, rather than reasoned, and that the lack of a fear response by the target of the Boggart's illusion is not something that the Boggart can react to.
Questions [ edit | edit source ]
Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Professor Lupin says "Nobody knows what a boggart looks like when he is alone," yet in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , Alastor Moody is able to identify it immediately, before it is released from the desk. What did Moody see with his magical eye?
- Why does a boggart have the full effect on Harry when it turns into a Dementor but it does not make Lupin a werewolf when it turns into a full moon?
- What parallels can be drawn between the effects of boggarts and the Mirror of Erised ?
- Our immediate suspicion is that Voldemort, confronted by a boggart, would see his own corpse. Are there other images that could be presented? Support your answer.
Greater Picture [ edit | edit source ]
There is some conflicting information about the effects of Boggarts. In particular, the Boggart-as-Dementor that Harry is using to learn the Patronus charm affects him exactly as the true Dementors do, weakening him and allowing him to hear his mother's and father's final minutes. Yet the boggart-as-full-moon that appears in Lupin's Defence Against the Dark Arts class, and the similar effect occurring when Lupin confronts the Boggart in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , do not cause him to turn into a werewolf.
Uncharacteristically, when Harry encounters the Boggart-as-Dementor in the maze in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , he recognizes it as a Boggart because it trips over its own robes. This is a very uncharacteristic revelation, not something we would expect of a Boggart, and can only be explained by our later understanding that the false Alastor Moody was watching Harry's progress through the maze and eliminating obstacles. Likely he could not eliminate the Boggart, and so made it clumsy to tip Harry off.
- Book:Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter
Harry Potter Boggarts – A Lesson in understanding fear for kids
I’m a Harry Potter fan but I never thought that when I decided to read Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone for Americans) as one of our first homeschool projects, I would be starting my kids on a major literary and emotional growth journey. I never thought Harry Potter Boggarts would help my son better understand fear.
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When I pulled the boys from school a few months ago I was advised to take it really easy with our lessons and do what I could to make learning fun again. This made sense, both boys were really struggling with negative associations and fears around learning. So one idea I had was to do some reading out loud from novels. One of those novels was the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
I made it to chapter three before my oldest stole the Kindle and started reading it on his own. By the time I finished reading the first book out loud, he was on book three. In less than 12 weeks he completed the entire series. He is now a fan and I love chatting all things Harry Potter with my kid! Even my younger son, who is my struggling book lover, eventually decided he loved Harry Potter too and I look forward to the day when he is ready to read the whole series too.
One of the discussions we had was around the boggart scenes. If you haven’t read the books, or don’t remember, the boggarts are a creature that can read your greatest fear and present themselves to you as your greatest fear come to life. They are terrifying monsters because they are so unique and specific in their attack on a person.
In the stories we see what each person’s boggart turns into, and I thought I could turn this into a great discussion about fears and mental health, while also exploring his comprehension of what he was reading.
How to use Harry Potter Boggarts to study fear
I started by having my son list the forms each character’s boggart took. If you need to cheat and look it up, the search feature in the Kindle is a big help!
Once we had the list we chatted about what that means each person’s greatest fear is , and why they fear that one thing so much . For instance Lupin, who is a werewolf, he fears the moon. We had a great discussion about why that is his greatest fear.
We then explored what someone’s greatest fear shows us about that person’s deepest thoughts .
From there we moved on to talking about the ways each character could defeat their boggart . To defeat the boggart the wizards had to make it transform into something funny. Laughter defeats boggarts/fear.
I wanted to take things up a bit, and honestly anyone who loves Harry Potter secretly wishes they could spend some time at Hogwarts, so I asked my son to pretend he was at Hogwarts. That he was a student in Lupin’s class and he has just come face to face with a boggart. What form does it take?
This was an interesting exercise. My son has a severe anxiety disorder and very vivid imagination, so he created quite the list of things he thought the boggart might change into.
Once he completed his list, I asked him to now think about how he could transform those fears to help him laugh . He had a lot of fun with this and became quite goofy and excited about all his ideas for defeating the boggarts and his fears.
Finally, I asked him why he thought laughter defeats fear . His answer was so insightful, it was a proud Momma moment. He talked about how laughing means you are not taking the fear seriously. That you can see it is fake and trying to trick you. Laughter makes you feel better and stronger so you can defeat fear.
Sometimes my boy blows my mind with his insights.
By the end of this little session I knew beyond any doubt that my son’s comprehension (and recollection) of the Harry Potter books was exceptional. He could recall the form almost all the character’s boggarts took (which was better than I could remember!).
It was also an excellent exercise to help him understand mental health, confidence, and emotional strength. As a child who suffers from intense anxiety this exercise gave him some wonderful insights into himself and his own fears. It also gave him some tools that he has since used to help combat his fears and defeat them. Just like how his favourite wizards defeated the boggarts!
Sometimes a little wizarding magic is an amazing thing. I hope you are able to use this as a guide for discussions with your little wizards!
MORE FROM STEAM POWERED FAMILY
10 Popular Harry Potter Characters and Their Boggarts, Ranked
A character's Boggart can say a lot about them. Here are the most telling Boggart forms in Harry Potter and what they reveal about each character.
- Ron Weasley's Greatest Fear Is Self-Explanatory
- Voldemort's Boggart Aligns With His Actions Throughout the Series
- Remus Lupin's Boggart Reflects His Tragic Condition
- Albus Dumbledore's Fear Is a Reminder of His Biggest Regret
- Molly Weasley's Boggart Hints at Her Heartbreaking Backstory
- Leta Lestrange's Boggart Reveals Her Secret Guilt
- Neville Longbottom's Fear Is Darker Than It Seems
- Newt Scamander's Fear Is Among the Strangest
- Harry Potter's Boggart Is Deceptively Complicated
- Hermione Granger's Fear Exposes Her Deepest Insecurities
It's important to remember the ongoing controversial statements by the creator of the Harry Potter franchise. CBR supports the hard work of industry professionals on properties fans know and love, and the wider world of Harry Potter that fans have adopted as their own. You can find CBR's continuing coverage on Rowling here .
One of the most intriguing creatures in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the Boggart, a shapeshifter that takes the form of whatever a person fears most. Much like Hogwarts houses, wands and full-bodied Patronus charms, the form a character's Boggart takes can say a lot about them.
From spiders and snakes to corpses and memories, Boggarts can transform into all sorts of things and even people, representing fears that are straightforward or more complex. Harry Potter 's most popular characters have some unusual Boggart forms, but some are more revealing than others. Here they are ranked by how much they tell audiences about each character.
Find Out How CBR Ranked Every Harry Potter Movie
10 Ron Weasley's Greatest Fear Is Self-Explanatory
Boggart form: a giant spider.
Ron Weasley's fear of spiders might just be one of his most relatable traits. As such, it was no surprise in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Ron faced the Boggart, and it transformed into a giant spider. While other Boggarts may be more metaphorical, the reason behind Ron's arachnophobia is pretty simple.
As Ron explains in the Chamber of Secrets novel, when he was three years old, his brother Fred accidentally turned his teddy bear into a large spider. Ron was scarred by the incident and has been deeply afraid of spiders ever since. Even so, Ron still went into an Acromantula nest with Harry to help Hagrid clear his name, confirming he truly belonged in Gryffindor.
9 Voldemort's Boggart Aligns With His Actions Throughout the Series
Boggart form: his own corpse.
Although Voldemort never faces a Boggart in the Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling did suggest a possible form it could take if he had during a Q&A session with fans. The writer explained that Voldemort's greatest fear is death, specifically his own, so a Boggart might represent this by transforming into his dead body.
Voldemort's Boggart form isn't particularly surprising, considering his big plan to create seven Horcruxes was all about keeping himself alive forever. Such efforts proved futile in the end, as Harry and his friends managed to destroy all of his Horcruxes. To put the final nail in the coffin, Voldemort met his end when his own killing curse backfired.
8 Remus Lupin's Boggart Reflects His Tragic Condition
Boggart form: the full moon.
Students got a glimpse of Professor Remus Lupin's fear when he prevented Harry from facing the Boggart. As he did so, the Boggart transformed into a full moon , hinting at his secret condition as a werewolf before Hermione revealed this information later in Prisoner of Azkaban .
Lupin's Boggart speaks to the tragedy of his condition. Having been bitten as a boy, Lupin lived in constant fear that his condition would be discovered and that he'd hurt people, particularly his close friends and loved ones, during his monthly transformations. When his condition was revealed, Lupin often faced discrimination for something that was completely out of his control.
7 Albus Dumbledore's Fear Is a Reminder of His Biggest Regret
Boggart form: ariana dumbledore's corpse.
Although Headmaster Albus Dumbledore doesn't face any Boggarts in the Harry Potter series, Rowling revealed what form it would've taken if he had during another Q&A session. According to the author, Dumbledore's Boggart would be the corpse of his sister, Ariana.
Dumbledore's fear stems from the fact that he blamed himself for Ariana's death, which occurred when she was hit by a rogue curse during a three-way duel between himself, his brother Aberforth and his love interest Gellert Grindelwald. In fact, Dumbledore's regret eventually doomed him when he put on Marvolo Gaunt's ring, one of Voldemort's Horcruxes which held the Resurrection Stone, as he hoped it would show him his sister again.
6 Molly Weasley's Boggart Hints at Her Heartbreaking Backstory
Boggart form: her family's corpses.
The Weasleys and Every Other Magical Family in Harry Potter
In the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix novel, Mrs. Weasley had a nasty encounter with a Boggart at 12 Grimmauld Place. It transformed into the corpses of her family, including Harry, switching from person to person every time she tried to cast a spell. Such a sight would shake anyone, but it's even more gut-wrenching when taking Molly's backstory into account.
Molly had two brothers, Fabian and Gideon , who were in the Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War. Sadly, they were both killed by Death Eaters. With the Second Wizarding War just beginning, Molly had every right to fear for her family's safety.
5 Leta Lestrange's Boggart Reveals Her Secret Guilt
Boggart form: corvus lestrange v drowning.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had young Leta Lestrange face her Boggart. It took the form of a painful memory: her baby brother's death. The sight of the blanket unfurling as the baby sank into the water haunted Leta due to the part she played in Corvus Lestrange's untimely demise, having switched him with another infant just before it happened.
Leta's Boggart shows how deeply this moment affected her, having lived with this secret since she was a child. Even when she fought against Grindelwald and his followers, allowing others to see the good in her, Leta had trouble seeing it herself because of this mistake. She spent the rest of her life blaming herself for her brother's death.
4 Neville Longbottom's Fear Is Darker Than It Seems
Boggart form: severus snape.
Like his classmates, audiences probably found it more amusing than scary that Neville Longbottom's greatest fear was Professor Severus Snape in Prisoner of Azkaban . This may have seemed like the silly fear of a child on the surface, but its implications are rather depressing.
Although it's not unusual for children to fear or disparage teachers they don't like, Snape was actually one of Neville's main tormentors in the Harry Potter books, so Neville's fear wasn't unfounded. Some have even theorized that Snape hated Neville because he was the other potential Chosen One in the prophecy. If Voldemort had gone after him instead of Harry, Snape's love, Lily Potter, might've lived.
3 Newt Scamander's Fear Is Among the Strangest
Boggart form: a desk.
Find Out More About the Biggest Magical Creatures That Fascinated Newt Scamander
Alongside Leta, The Crimes of Grindelwald also showed a young Newt Scamander facing his Boggart under the guidance of Professor Dumbledore, who was amused when the Boggart turned into an ordinary desk. Newt explained that his fear was having to work in an office before turning the boggart into a dragon made of office supplies.
While Newt's explanation may seem straightforward and even silly to some, it speaks to Newt's desire to stay true to himself and what he believes rather than conform to what others want him to be. When his brother Theseus tries to get him to work at the Ministry, Newt flat-out refuses. Despite Theseus's good intentions, Newt won't support an organization he doesn't agree with.
2 Harry Potter's Boggart Is Deceptively Complicated
Boggart form: dementor.
Harry Potter learned about Boggarts in Professor Lupin's class in Prisoner of Azkaban . While Lupin thought it would take the form of Lord Voldemort, it instead became a Dementor. As Harry and Lupin discussed it later, Lupin suspected that Harry's true fear wasn't the Dementor but fear itself.
When Harry first encounters a Dementor on the Hogwarts Express, he experiences all of the usual effects and also hears his mother screaming and fainting. Although there was nothing he could've done to save her or his father, Harry always felt responsible for keeping his remaining loved ones safe. The Dementor's effects left him feeling helpless to protect himself or others, so it makes sense that Harry would fear this feeling.
1 Hermione Granger's Fear Exposes Her Deepest Insecurities
Boggart form: minerva mcgonagall telling her she failed.
As revealed in the Prisoner of Azkaban book, Hermione Granger's Boggart took the form of Professor McGonagall telling her she failed all her exams. Like other more banal Boggart transformations, this might seem like a silly thing for Hermione to fear, but it reveals a lot about her insecurities.
Hermione is a Muggle-born witch and often feels the need to prove that she belongs in the Wizarding World. Hearing from McGonagall, someone she looks up to, that she failed would jeopardize her place at Hogwarts and, by extension, the magical world. With this in mind, it's not hard to understand why Hermione considered expulsion to be a fate worse than death in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone .
The Harry Potter franchise follows the adventure of a young boy introduced a whole new world of magic, mayhem and darkness. Traversing the obstacles in his path, young Harry's rise to heroics pits him against Lord Voldemort, one of the most dangerous wizards in the world and all his minions.
Harry potter: what are the main characters' boggarts.
In Harry Potter, fear manifests in the form of Boggarts and each main character comes face to face with their fears before the franchise is over.
There are a ton of magical elements in the Wizarding universe of Harry Potter that define the characters. Their Patronuses define them as much as their Hogwarts Houses and it's allowed many fans of the series to find their own versions of these to feel a little more at home in the world.
RELATED: Harry Potter: What Your Patronus Would Be, Based On Your Zodiac
But whether one identifies as a Gryffindor or a Slytherin and whether their Patronus is a stag or an otter, they all have the same thing in common: they all fear. In Harry Potter, fear manifests in the form of Boggarts. While the main characters' Boggarts are well known, the Harry Potter franchise is still a deep dive that shines light on the true nature of Boggarts.
Harry Potter - Dementors
Boggarts come into play in a major way in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban . It is in this story where Dementors are also a major factor for the first time and it's no surprise that they are Harry's biggest fear.
They suck one's soul out and seem to be the embodiment of terror and hopelessness in the world. It's a perfectly reasonable fear for Harry to have (and later develop a patronus for).
Ron Weasley - Spiders
Anyone familiar with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets knows just how much Ron fears spiders (he is also perfectly justified to do so). It's no surprise that the next story brings giant spiders back to Ron's source of horror.
They say the best way to conquer one's fear is to face it. But Ron came face to face with Aragog and still nearly lost his mind during Lupin's Boggart lesson. Some phobias cannot be erased.
Hermione Granger - Test Failure
Rounding out the main trio of the Harry Potter franchise, Hermione's fear is a bit more abstract than Harry's and Ron's. She is petrified of failure. Specifically, she's petrified of failing her various academic tests.
RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Biggest Changes Hermione Granger Went Through
Fortunately, there is a spell to be rid of Boggarts: Riddikulus. When Hermione uses this spell, Professor McGonagall shifts from telling Hermione that she failed to telling Hermione that she'd won a prestigious award.
Molly Weasley - Her Family Dead
Molly Weasley is not necessarily one of the ten biggest characters in Harry Potter , but her Boggart is crucial to understanding many of the motivations of the Weasley family. Her biggest fear is seeing her entire family dead.
Tragically, this would partially come to pass when Fred Weasley died. At the very least, Molly never had to see everyone she loved dead. It doesn't make it easier to lose Fred, but it does show that her most palpable worries were still staved off.
Neville Longbottom - Professor Snape
When Neville is sent to confront a Boggart during Lupin's third-year lesson, he sees Professor Severus Snape. No student should fear their teacher, but it certainly makes sense that if Neville would fear anyone, he'd fear Snape.
Neville is always grappling with standing up to authority in his life. One of the biggest steps came when Neville used Riddikulus to turn Snape's wardrobe into mirroring his grandmother's.
Dumbledore - Ariana Dumbledore
Dumbledore tends to be quite secretive about his inner feelings. After all, he claimed to see a pair of socks in the Mirror of Erised when Harry asked him back in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone .
RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Important Details You Didn't Know About Dumbledore And Hagrid's Friendship
However, Dumbledore's Boggart reveals a deep inner truth within the former Headmaster of Hogwarts. He fears the lifeless body of Ariana Dumbledore, his sister, with who he associates his biggest regrets. Dumbledore was far from perfect and this Boggart showed how flawed a hero he was.
Remus Lupin - A Full Moon
It only makes sense that Lupin, who introduced Boggarts to his students, would eventually give the pay-off of showing his own Boggart. It just happens to be a full moon.
It's not that he's afraid of rocks in space. Rather, Lupin fears what the full moon represents. With full moons come his transformation into a werewolf. He associates shame and fear with this idea and it results in a heartbreaking Boggart.
Voldemort - His Downfall
Believe it or not, Voldemort has many things he fears, as well. Obviously, Harry gets under his skin, but Voldemort's actual Boggart is his own downfall.
RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Things Voldemort Did After Hogwarts We’d Love To See In A Movie
Nothing scares Lord Voldemort more than the thought that he can die. It's why he created Horcruxes and made a play for immortality. He is always running away from his biggest fear, which, in a way, is the idea that he can fear no more.
Draco Malfoy - Voldemort
Much of what is known about the characters' Boggarts comes from the video game, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 . In this game, it becomes clear that Draco Malfoy's Boggart is Lord Voldemort.
Draco's fear of Voldemort likely comes from different reasons than others have. Most fear Voldemort taking over the world. Draco fears Voldemort intimidating and manipulating the Malfoy family.
Rubeus Hagrid - Voldemort, Too
It's no surprise that Hagrid also fears Voldemort the most. In fact, a great many characters are revealed, in this aforementioned video game, to be afraid of Voldemort the most. Hagrid is no exception.
Hagrid leads with love and has a big heart, so it's no surprise that someone as evil as Voldemort would be his biggest fear. It also speaks to Hagrid's courage that he faces down this fear when it is manifested tenfold.
NEXT: Harry Potter: The 10 Scariest Monsters & Magical Creatures, Ranked
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Boggarts and Fear
We all know what they are.
These creatures shift their form into whatever frightens the person in front of them the most. When a person has multiple fears of equal terror, the boggart will switch between them. And when there are more than one person in front of it, it will become a sort of mixture of the fears those before it have.
Something you may not know, though it'll hardly be surprising, is that the boggarts we have become familiar with through the Harry Potter series are based on creatures from folklore.
Apparently, in English folklore, boggarts are either mischievous house spirits that basically seem to pull harmless pranks on the inhabitants, or more sinister spirits living outdoors.
Boggarts in folklore are also linked with the 'bogeyman', another creature you might have heard of before.
Since the idea of boggarts in Harry Potter stem from boggarts and bogeymen in real-life stories, there are naturally a couple of similarities between them all.
First, they all hide away from sight.
Second, and kind of leading on from the first, none of these beings' actual appearance is really known. Their descriptions vary, if they exist at all.
And third, they all have various degrees of unpleasant intentions; in the end, they all end up scaring people, one way or another.
The differences between these three creatures comes in what exactly they do.
The boggarts from folklore that live in people's houses enjoy pulling 'pranks' on the inhabitants. They lurk in corners and under beds, and creep out when one doesn't expect it. Maybe they pull away the bedsheets, move things around, or something similar.
The boggarts who live outdoors are a bit scarier, in that they could go as far as kidnapping and that sort of behavior.
The bogeyman's very purpose was created by adults to scare their children into behaving well; the bogeyman would - generally - punish badly behaved children in different ways depending on who tells the story.
And the boggarts in Harry Potter exist to scare those that they encounter as thoroughly as possible by taking the physical shape which the person fears the most.
But here comes a point that I think others might also wonder about: is it truly possible for a boggart to personify ANY fear?
As I see it there are various types of fear that a boggart might encounter. For instance, Ron Wealsey is terrified of spiders, and so naturally taking the shape of a spider will frighten Ron intensely. The same goes for other fears of tangible things, of people, etc.
But what about more abstract fears, such as loneliness, or fear of heights?
I just don't quite see how a boggart could successfully trigger fear when there isn't an exact shape for it to take.
I myself fear disappointing those closest to me the most. How might a boggart make me feel afraid based on this?
Hermione Granger's worst fear is failure. Therefore the boggart that appeared before her in that DADA class took on the shape of Professor McGonagall telling her that she has failed her exams. I can believe that this would upset Hermione, but would it really spark fear in her heart the same way it would if Ron faced a giant spider?
I think, if a boggart were to appear in front of me as my mother or father saying they are disappointed in me, I would be very upset - but afraid would not be the correct way to describe it. Nevertheless, this is still what I consider my greatest fear.
So is it perhaps what we consider 'fear' that is flawed?
How would a boggart depict a fear of heights? Would it become a mountain, or a tall building? I don't think that would really trigger someone with acrophobia, at least not the way it would if they were actually stood in a high place. What about claustrophobia? Or a fear of being lonely? The fear of rollercoasters, or being stuck in an elevator? How would a boggart succeed in scaring their victim when the fear isn't a thing, but a feeling?
After all this talk I almost feel like the boggarts and bogeymen from folklore are more efficient in actually scaring people than the boggarts in Harry Potter. The latter certainly manages to terrify many, but there must be some limit to what they can transform into. And depending on what 'fear(s)' a person carries it might cause anything from worry or uncomfort to terror. If that is the case, does a boggart really succeed in its purpose? And which of the three different creatures is actually more scary?
I might be reading too much into it, and I might be way off... but the way the boggart has to take a shape that it concludes will scare whoever is in front of it doesn't seem foolproof to me at the moment.
So please, let us know what your greatest fear is and how you think a boggart would try to scare you using it, or what shape it would have to take in order to succeed - especially if your fear is also more a feeling than a thing. I'm curious to know what you think on the topic.
TPL by Agapi
My boggart are dementors. Those are hella scary.
I think it would affect your vision or make the floor look like it is far away, if you fear rollercoasters then it does that and take you upside down by the legs.
Loneliness could be explained like that, creating some kind of fog and keeping you from hearing anyone, an elevator could just put you into an illusion of being in a failed elevator, etc. But that’s just what I think.
Maybe it would take the form of some kind of screen showing you dying on a rollercoaster, or it could show you dying alone (for the comment below). I'm trying to think of other ways it could be scary if you're afraid of rollercoasters...it might take the form of your mangled body and come up to you and start telling you something like "we died when the rollercoaster lost control and now we're dead!" Lol something like that. It would be pretty scary to face your own dead body.
i have actually wondered quite a bit about this too lol.
with a worst fear being ‘loneliness’ or something similar i’ve often wondered what the boggart would take the form of. 🤔 this is a very interesting topic to explore, boggarts trying to take the form of feelings instead of objects/people, and it not really ever being documented in the series. i’d love to hear more opinions on the subject.
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Magical stories, mysterious landscapes and Greater Manchester’s Boggart problem - Dr Oliver Bishop tells all
By Emily Oldfield
Goblin hunts, searching for dragon eggs and strange storytelling – it is the Doctor’s orders. That Doctor is Dr Oliver Bishop, a Greater Manchester maker and storyteller behind the truly unique events company Yan Tan Tethera .
Yan Tan Tethera delivers a diverse range of workshops and interactive features that encourage the exploration of the natural world and often involve inspiration from the outdoors, myth, magic, nonsense and fun. Adopting the guise of the eccentric and energetic character Professor Jigget, Dr Oliver, often along with a band of vibrant storytellers, creates custom-made items and activities that have enchanted audiences young and old. From puppets and props to stories and scenery, Yan Tan Tethera certainly leaves an impression.
And proving that there is no need to travel far to find mystery, much of this takes place within Greater Manchester. Yan Tan Tethera works with a number of local organisations to celebrate the magic of the natural world, especially with young people; appearing at the likes of Touchstones Rochdale, Bury Art Museum, HOME and Manchester University, to name just a few. Stories, adventures and nonsense are an intrinsic part.
The vintage aesthetics are also sure to attract attention – flying goggles and bowler hats at the ready - as well as Yan Tan Tethera’s various ideas for exploring Greater Manchester. So far these have included goblin hunts, finding dragons on the Bridgewater Canal, wandering through the woods, and telling the story of Fair Ellen of Radcliffe as part of ‘The Cabin of Curiosity’ series of videos. Fair Ellen, so the story goes, was killed and baked into a pie on the orders of her vengeful stepmother, inspiring a tale which takes Radcliffe Tower on Radcliffe’s Church Street as its inspiration.
Events, festivals and guided walks can all be given the Yan Tan Tethera treatment. Most recently HAUNT Manchester found Dr Oliver delivering Yan Tan Tethera activities at Touchstones Rochdale, and decided to speak to him to find out more…
Hello Oliver! Can you tell us, why the name Yan Tan Tethera and how does this link to Northern England?
“The name Yan Tan Tethera means ‘1,2,3’ in the old shepherd language of the north. It is said that shepherds would use a rhyme in order to count their sheep and that they would say this rhyme while passing stones from one hand to the other. When they got to twenty (Jigget) they would place a large stone on the floor and start again.
“The reason I adopted ‘Yan Tan Tethera’ as my trading name is that it has a magical, mysticism to it. It is a simple counting exercise but when it is said out loud it sounds almost like the incantation of a spell.
Why do you think it is important to engage with the slightly stranger stories of a place – and can you give some examples of how you have done this?
“Our brains latch onto the extraordinary – the experiences that depart from the mundane. And historically accurate stories of a place can become just that – mundane. They are often too close to everyday life to be worth listening to. But, if a place has a connection to the ‘strange’, to the ‘other’ and the ‘unknown’ we are more likely to wake up and take notice.
“I use the weird and wonderful everyday in my work. From leading tree identification walks alongside goblin hunts to practically re-writing history. An example of the later would be a guided walk I delivered as part of Salford’s Bridgewater Canal project ‘Est 1761’. I found that trying to retell the tale of trade and industry was rather dull, especially to children. And so I added a new part of the story – dragons! The facts were still the same; it’s just the reason for them were made more fanciful.
“Of course, I don’t always just ‘add a dragon’ to a place – some places already have dragons associated with them. Take Unsworth in North Manchester. Its name comes from a local lord who defeated a foul, fire-breathing dragon in 1845. And when there isn’t a dragon there’s always a boggart, a faerie, or cockatrice nearby!” (Image below: with thanks to ‘Friends of Boradane Woods’)
Tell us a little more about your creative inspirations…
“I’ve always loved goblins, especially after growing up on films like the Labyrinth and Legend . I also have a passion for nature – especially woodlands and forests. I love the folklore of the woods, the forest has always been the ‘outside’ – separate from civilization, where the faerie folk roam and magic stirs. And so magic and nature are my inspirations and there are plenty of places in the North of England where you can find both!”
You are currently delivering a range of goblin hunts and dr agon egg hunts in Greater Manchester. What was the inspiration behind this and do you think we can still engage with fictional tales to enhance our perception of place?
“The inspiration comes from when I was a child and would go looking for goblins in the woods! I’d always keep a look out for any strange movement from the corner of my eyes, or try and collect evidence of their presence – like beech mast helmets, small but sharp stone spear heads, and holes in old trees, anything that seemed out of the ordinary.
“When I grew up I started studying the natural world at university and part of my PhD in environmental studies was all about how people benefit from interacting with nature. As part of my studies I started to deliver some guided walks around the campus – telling the stories of the trees. It wasn’t until I started running walks for children that I had to think of a way to make and keep them engaged - how to make an out of the ordinary experience so that (hopefully) the information I gave them stayed with them. And so I thought, for about a second, a word came into my head – goblins. From there I introduced dragon eggs so I could deliver woodland flower walks in spring.” (Image below: with thanks to Hollymount Orchard)
Folklore and magic are often stereotyped as dark concepts. What is your view on this?
“I suppose they are dark. It seemed to be a way for people to understand or cope with the dark, unusual, terrifying and sometimes horrific things they had to live with. Folklore and the faerie folk belong to the people. The old mythological gods and heroes belonged to the powerful – the mighty Thor or the brave and beautiful Lugh were strong, smart, and extremely rich (I mean how much would a magical hammer or spear be worth nowadays)! The people who worked the land probably didn’t see much of themselves within these characters. But the crooked, strange, weird faerie folk that lived near them or even with them were theirs. And because they were theirs they took on their fears.
“However, the magical creatures of folklore were also ridiculous, nonsensical, funny and strange. Magic is unpredictable and so the creatures born within it will be too.”
Do you know of any particularly spooky or strange Greater Manchester tales you would like to tell us?
“Well, one of my favourites is the Ballad of Fair Ellen of Radcliffe. Ellen was the daughter of Lord Radcliffe and when he re-married her step mother (as always) didn’t like her. And what do you do to your step daughter if you don’t like her? Get the cook to put her in a pie and feed it to her father! A bit extreme if you ask me!
“I also love the tale of the Goblin Builders which explains why St Chad’s Church in the centre of Rochdale is at the top of a hill. Apparently every time the foundations were laid at the bottom of the hill the goblins would move them to the top. In time the local lord decided just to keep the church at the top of the hill, because what else are you going to do?
“Finally, Greater Manchester has a severe boggart* problem. Boggarts are tricksy, mostly malevolent creatures that try their best to run people out of their homes. They are neither spirit nor goblin – but something in between – or that is how the stories go, there hasn’t been any real biological or ecological study of the faerie folk so we’re not quite sure. There is one in Boggart Hole clough in Blackley, one in Rochdale living within Clegg Hall (though some say it is actually a ghost) and there is even a burial site containing the remains of the boggart that used to torment the old hall at Gristlehurst in Birtle, Bury.”
You can find more information and watch some short films on the website yantantethera.org and follow Yan Tan Tethera on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook also.
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