Gargoyle refers to a carved stone or statue with an ugly monstrous design. Since medieval times, gargoyle statues have been commonly seen in many structures and buildings, including the Hogwarts Castle.
Architecturally, two distinctions are made between gargoyles: functional ones, whose purpose is to direct water away from the sides of a building through their spouts; and aesthetic gargoyles, whose appearance is said by the superstitious to add to their ability to ward off evil. It is unknown if the latter ability is preserved with gargoyles in the wizarding world.
It should be noted that, whilst some gargoyles, like the Lonely Male Gargoyle, do seem to have some degree of sentience, this is not known to be an innate ability and any noted animation is likely due to magic, such as a charm.
Sentient Hogwarts Gargoyles
A number of Hogwarts gargoyles have the ability to talk and posess personality, such as:
- Staffroom Gargoyles
- The Stairwell Gargoyle
- The Comedic Female Gargoyle
- The Barking Mad Male Gargoyle
- The Lonely Male Gargoyle
- The Lonely Male Gargoyle's friend
- The Miserable Female Gargoyle
- The Sarcastic Male Gargoyle
From the French gargouille, meaning "throat" or "gullet". In Latin gurgulio, gula, and similar words derived from the root gar, meaning "to swallow", which represented the gurgling sound of water.
Behind the scenes
- In the PC video game adaption of Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban, they are used as targets to cast Lumos and when done so, they will make a small movement.
- As far as can be determined, Sandstone Gargoyles appear to be natural fantastic beasts unrelated to enchanted stone gargoyles. The latter may habe been inspired by the former.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Gargoyle statue that stood in the second floor entrance to the Headmaster's office was moved to the Entrance Courtyard.
- Some of the sayings of wizards are "Gulpin' gargoyles" and "Galloping gargoyles."
- A scene cut from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) mentioned a Gargoyle Strike of 1911.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 a Gargoyle that looks like a dragon-creature can be seen in the Room of Requirement near a photo of a wizard in Egypt. Later on, a real dragon Gargoyle can actually be seen, which the player destroy.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- 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 Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Cutscenes) (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game