Despite being named by its protagonist, Harry Potter is a series defined by its supporting cast. The people around Harry are arguably more important than Harry himself, creating a larger scoped and more meaningful world with every line of dialogue they utter. How Harry perceives any given character naturally reflects not only on them and himself, but what it means to live in the Wizarding World. We see the magic of Hogwarts through Harry’s eyes, but it is only so magical because of not what he encounters, but who. This is seen no better than with Harry’s first real magical companion, Hagrid.
The first real friend Harry makes in the series, Hagrid has had a major role since day one. He is the man who saves Harry from the Dursleys, takes Harry to Hogwarts, and shows to him that there is more to life than a cupboard in dreary old Privet Lane. Harry’s life is bolstered through meeting Hagrid, and so are the lives of the readers. It certainly helps that Hagrid is quite the interesting character. While he’s never quite as front and center as, say, Dumbledore, Rowling actively develops him up until the very end, making Hagrid one of the more fascinating characters to learn about.
25 Hagrid Doesn’t Know Cursive
Rarely does a series actually comment on the handwriting of its characters. So rare, in fact, the books never actually bothered mentioning this fact in regards to Hagrid. Rather, it’s the movies that indicate that Hagrid doesn’t know cursive. To be fair, cursive itself has been fading away in recent years, but a man Hagrid’s age probably should know it.
Evidence to Hagrid’s cursiveless abilities come from his official signature which can be found on both the main wiki and Pottermore. In place of a fancy signature you’d see from Dumbledore, Hagrid simply spells his name how a child one. It makes sense, though. He did get expelled when he was 13 years old, after all.
24 The Films Suggest Hagrid Is Illiterate
At no point in the books is it ever indicated that Hagrid is illiterate. As far as we can tell, Hagrid is just a regular person who can read and write. You know, like a man in his fifties would. The movies paint a very different picture, though. From as early as the first film, it’s heavily implied that Hagrid has some illiteracy issues.
Spelling's not his strong suit.
Specifically, he doesn’t know how to spell “happy” on Harry’s cake and instead spells it “happee.” It’s… not a great show of character on his part. Silly? Absolutely, but not totally accurate. In many respects, it makes Hagrid out to be stupid which any big enough fan would be able to tell you simply isn’t the case.
23 Hagrid’s Biggest Fear Is Voldemort
Boggarts can infer quite a lot about a character. It’s an idea based off a universal truth: our fears define us. What we fear can spur us to grow or stunt us. The Boggart is a means of looking deep into a character’s psyching and analyzing, in-text, where their mind goes at their darkest place.
Perhaps fittingly, Hagrid’s Boggart manifests itself into none other than the dark lord himself, Voldemort. Given the history the two characters share, (which we’ll touch upon later,) and how Voldemort has more or less torn Hagrid’s friend group apart over the years, it’s only fitting Hagrid fear him so intensely.
22 Hagrid Does Not Have A Patronus
On the other end of the Boggart spectrum, we have the Patronus. Essentially the spirit animals of the Wizard World, your Patronus is a manifestation of yourself at its most pure state. What your Patronus appears as says more about you than a Boggart as it is a reflection of everything you hold deep inside you.
Not everyone needs a spirit animal.
Not everyone is competent enough a wizard to have a Patronus, though. With no formal training past his third year, Hagrid naturally lacks a Patronus. He’s not the only named character in the series to lack a Patronus, but he is arguably the most important character who explicitly lacks a Patronus and cannot manifest one.
21 Hagrid Actually Doesn't Eat Enough
Hagrid is a massive man. Or so the books lead us to believe. While his canonical height of over 11 feet certainly paints the portrait of a ludicrously larger than life man, JK Rowling perhaps did not put nearly enough thought into his weight. Where Hagrid’s canonical height is over 11 feet, his canonical weight doesn’t even touch 290 pounds.
As a result, Hagrid is ferociously underweight. With a BMI of roughly 10, Hagrid should be an 11 foot tall twig with no muscle mass or internal organs. For Hagrid to be a healthy man, he should be over 400 pounds. But he’s not. He’s not even 300. It’s a miracle he’s even alive considering his body mass index.
20 Hagrid Is The Only Major Character To Be Expelled
Despite the fact that Hagrid’s expulsion is mentioned is mentioned fairly early in the series, it almost seems as though Rowling is setting up the idea that another character would be expelled. After all, isn’t it just a natural writing technique to knock two birds with one stone? Develop a character and foreshadow the plot.
Hagrid's life really is not all that great.
That said, Hagrid’s expulsion is very much just a means of establishing how awful Tom Riddle is. As a result, Hagrid ends up the only major character to get expelled over the course of the series. Not even just the course of the series, though, but in general. No one else suffers as bad a fate as Hagrid.
19 Hagrid Is A Savant At Non-Verbal Magic
Hagrid is quite the interesting character. Despite never finishing his formal training at Hogwarts, and completely lacking a traditional wand, he can still pull off the occasional feat of magic. His umbrella may or may not work as a replacement for his wand, but that doesn’t change the fact that, more than once in the series, Hagrid actually uses non-verbal magic, an incredibly impressive feat that even the most competent wizards fail to consistently pull off. For Hagrid to pull off non-verbal magic is quite the big deal.
18 Hagrid Is The Physically Strongest Main Character In The Series
While there are stronger characters in the series (hello every single giant,) Hagrid is easily the strongest of the main character. Despite his weight discrepancies, Hagrid could pretty much throttle anyone in his path if he chose to do so. Of course, he’s a gentle giant so he does not choose to do so, but that doesn’t really diminish his strength. Had Hagrid finished his schooling at Hogwarts, he would not only be quite the impressive wizard, but he’d also be able to overpower any threats through sheer force of strength. Maybe it’s for the best he was expelled...
17 Hagrid Can’t Fly Broomsticks
As Hagrid never finished his Hogwarts schooling past its third year, he’s missing out on quite a few important wizarding skills. Interestingly, while broom riding isn’t something all students will necessarily learn, it is implied that he did indeed try to learn the craft as Hagrid claims he can’t ride a broom because of his massive size. It does actually make a great deal of sense. Even though Hagrid inexplicably doesn’t weigh all that much more than an overweight person of an average height, he does have an incredibly long body. In turn, it would be far too difficult for him to properly balance on a broomstick.
16 The Story Begins And Ends With Hagrid Carrying Harry
Before you finish typing that comment stating that the story ends not with Hagrid carrying Harry’s body, but with the ever-controversial epilogue, let’s analyze what the “story” of Harry Potter is. At its core, it is the life of Harry Potter and how it intertwines with Voldemort’s. At the climax of the series, Harry seemingly loses his life.
It begins and ends with a man carrying a boy.
The story begins in proper with Hagrid carrying a baby Harry to the Dursley’s doorstep. That is the inception of the mythos. The true mythology of the narrative ends not with the epilogue, but with history repeating itself as Harry carries a seemingly deceased Harry away from the battlefield. From there, fate can be broken and Harry can end the story that tied him to Tom Riddle.
15 Hagrid Knows The Harry Potter Theme In-Universe
It’s not unusual for movies to play their scores diegetically. If you aren’t familiar with the term, non-diegetic sound is effectively the presence of music in-universe. If a character is playing a song in a scene, the sound is therefore non-diegetic. If a score is playing over a scene, however, said sound is instead diegetic.
In the first film, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione go to meet Hagrid at his hut, Hagrid greets them by playing the series’ theme song on his flute. That means, in-universe, the franchise’s main theme actually exists. This is merely just a nod to the score and never appears in the films again, but it’s a distinction worth making.
14 Hagrid’s Relationship With Maxime Doesn’t Work Out
Hagrid and Maxime’s relationship is something that really does come out of nowhere, but not so out of nowhere where it doesn’t make sense. They are giants, after all, so naturally, they MUST end up together! JK Rowling probably realized what she was doing and chose to deprive Hagrid of his girlfriend.
Romance is tricky.
Kind of sad, isn’t it? This is a man who spent the entire franchise alone and, after seemingly finding love, his relationship falls apart and Hagrid never managed to find a romantic connection again. Well, she didn’t confirm that last part, but it seems very unlikely Hagrid would ever pursue romance again.
13 Hagrid Has One Of The Closest Relationships With Voldemort
There are three major characters who have a fairly intimate relationship with Voldemort. Tom Riddle’s person rival Albus Dumbledore, the man actively working to dismantle his legacy; Harry Potter, the boy who lived and actively stands in the way of Voldemort’s conquest of the Wizarding World; and Hagrid, the man who exemplifies Tom Riddle’s descent into darkness.
While not exactly friends, the two were classmates at Hogwarts at the same time. Tom Riddle was a relentless student, though, and framed Hagrid for the demise of another student, getting Hagrid expelled from Hogwarts. Hagrid’s life was forever changed by Riddle as was Riddle’s in having someone like Hagrid to mask one of his earliest transgressions.
12 Rubeus Isn’t Pronounced How You’d Think
When reading Hagrid’s first name for the first time, Rubeus, you’ll likely pronounce it as “roo-be-us.” After all, why wouldn’t you? The English language dictates we pronounce words how they’re spelled. Like any good word in the language, however, Rubeus’ pronunciation isn’t so easy.
Even the series' pronunciations aren't safe.
Rather than “roo-be-us,” Rubeus is pronounced “roo-bay-is.” This was confirmed by JK Rowling in a conversation with Daniel Radcliffe in a commentary track. Interestingly, while this is the official pronunciation, the films opts for the simpler “roo-be-us.” Another one of Rowling’s retcons?
11 Hagrid Is Allergic To Cats
JK Rowling sure loves to reveal character trivia way after the fact and Hagrid is really no exception. Perhaps the most inconsequential piece of trivia Rowling has ever spouted, Hagrid is supposedly allergic to cats, explaining his dislike of Mrs. Norris. Sure, that kind of explains it, but… why? Why couldn’t Hagrid just not be particularly fond of one animal? It’s the kind of trivia that truly adds nothing of value, but exists over the character’s context in the story through a very forced means of tying threads together that were never even loose.
10 Hagrid Is One Of The Few Characters To Consistently Trust Snape
Very few characters in the series actively trust Snape and for good reason: we see Snape through Harry’s eyes. Snape’s abuse of Harry is arguably his most defining feature outside of his ultimate redemption. Even then, though, one of Harry’s closest allies, Hagrid, never loses faith in Snape.
Someone had to.
Even when Snape takes Dumbledore’s life, Hagrid refuses to hate and mistrust Snape. He stands by him until the very end because of just how much he respects Dumbledore. He doesn’t just accept all of Snape’s torture towards Harry, but he does trust that Snape is looking out for the boy and the betterment of the Wizarding World.
9 Lego Hagrid Is One Of The Most Unique Mini Figures
When any family friendly franchise gets big enough, they will surely find themselves snatched up my Lego and converted into on of the glorious building blocks of our childhood imagination. It goes without saying, but it did not take long at all for Harry Potter to find its Lego adaptation. It’s a perfect fit thanks to its creative world!
With so many unique characters and creatures, though, the fine fellows at Lego needed to get a bit creative with their minifigs. A character like Hagrid couldn’t just be based off the regular model. As a result, Hagrid ended up with one of the most unique figures in the entire lineup. Unique hair, a unique beard, and a unique body give him a Lego identity other figs can’t compete with.
8 Hagrid Is The Red To Dumbledore’s White
There’s an interesting parallel in Hagrid’s and Dumbledore’s etymology, specifically in their names. In Latin, “rubinus” means red whereas “album” means white. In the series proper, Hagrid’s first name in Rubeus while Dumbledore’s is Albus. Where the latter represents a purity within the Wizarding World, the former is red hot with passion. JK Rowling clearly choice these names for a reason and they’re reflected in not only how these characters act, but how Harry perceives them in the context of his life.
7 Hagrid’s Name Is Lifted From The Mayor Of Casterbridge
To expand further on the subject of Hagrid’s namesake, the surname “Hagrid” itself is lifted from The Mayor of Casterbridge, a 19th century novel written by English author Thomas Hardy. In Chapter 20, a single passage mentions a term called “Hag-rids.” As this novel also gives a specific namesake for Dumbledore through a similar passage, it’s entirely likely that JK Rowling had read the novel at some point and then chose the surnames for Rubeus and Albus from said reading.
6 Hagrid Is One Of The Only Characters To Appear In Every Movie
As far as the literary side of things, it’s not unusual to see dozens upon dozens of characters appearing in every single book. After all, the series is ostensibly about Harry’s school years and the scope of the books utterly eclipse the movies in minutia. The films can only adapt so much, leaving certain characters showing up only when they need to. Even in the face of cuts, Hagrid is an important enough character where even if he won’t be doing much, he warrants a meaningful appearance. In a cast of hundreds, Hagrid is one of the few who appears in each one of the eight original movies.
5 Robin Williams Auditioned For Hagrid
As per Rowling’s request, the audition process for the series’ cinematic adaptation had one hard and fast rule: English actors only. If you weren’t an English actor or at least an actor born somewhere close to the UK, you were not going to be cast in the film as an English character. This led to some interesting rejections.
We could have gotten a very different Hagrid.
Reportedly, Robin Williams not only auditioned for Hagrid, he privately campaigned for the role. Unfortunately for him, while the casting crew were interested, Rowling held firm on her role and rejected the proposal. To be honest, it’s ultimately for the best. Williams was far too much of a big name at the time and would have detracted from the first film’s authentic aesthetic.
4 The Films Made Hagrid Shorter (For Obvious Reasons)
In the books, Hagrid is over 11 feet tall. While this works for a magical piece of literature, it’s far too unwieldy for a filmed work. An 11 foot tall Hagrid would be incredibly distracting on screen and be a massive nuisance to film. Such a feat would require either bizarre levels of CGI or trick shots that would only serve to cripple the film.
Naturally, the filmmakers needed to shrink down Hagrid. Rather than letting him be an 11 foot tall behemoth, it was decided to downsize Hagrid to only an 8 foot tall giant. It’s not too big a change as his giant nature is still conveyed, but it did make filming him far easier and less jarring.
3 Hagrid Lives To At Least His 90s
Wizards live quite a long time. Dumbledore himself makes it to his 100s before Snape does him in. It’s only fitting then that others characters also live as long. While the series has yet to go far enough in the timeline to reach a prospective funeral for Hagrid, we have seen him quite old thanks to a certain play that nobody likes. Given that Hagrid is still alive, he lives to at least his 90s. He’ll probably even live longer due to the fact that he’s clearly in good health during the events of the film. He doesn’t play a major role or anything, but he’s still kicking. Good for Hagrid!
2 Hagrid’s Role As Gatekeeper Has Some Contradictions
Following his expulsion, Hagrid is said to have immediately become Hogwarts’ gatekeeper, manning the grounds and tending to the campus. Or so the story goes. That’s the thing about stories, though- they’re sometimes wrong. While nothing in the plot indicates that Hagrid wasn’t the gatekeeper after getting expelled, Molly Weasley does comment on there being another gatekeeper at a time where Hagrid should have been gatekeeper. It’s possible that Hagrid was his apprentice at the time, but this is more than likely an outright oversight on Rowling’s part than anything else.
1 Hagrid Is Arguably The Best Wizard In The Series
We’ve learned quite a bit about Hagrid today, haven’t? He’s physically strong, quite large, knows how to use non-verbal magic, is great with magical animals, and is able to excel at magic despite never finishing his education. What does that make him? Perhaps the single best wizard in the whole series.
Now this doesn’t mean Hagrid is the most powerful or competent, but just that he is able to excel in so many areas that, even without a formal education and without training, Hagrid is consistently able to pull off impressive magic that would perhaps make Dumbledore blush. In the right context, Hagrid absolutely would be the strongest wizard alive.