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"Very smart owl you've got there. Arrived about five minutes after you did."
Tom comments on Hedwig's intelligence[src]

Hedwig (d. 27 July, 1997) was Harry Potter's pet Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus).[3] In August 1991 Hedwig was purchased from Eeylops Owl Emporium and was gifted to Harry from Rubeus Hagrid on his eleventh birthday. Owls are used by wizards to deliver mail, but Hedwig was also an important companion as Harry was initiated into the wizarding world. She continued to be one of his closest companions until her death in the Battle of the Seven Potters in 1997.



"Harry now carried a large cage that held a beautiful snowy owl, fast asleep with her head under her wing."
—Harry Potter after receiving Hedwig as a gift[src]

Hagrid introduces Hedwig to Harry in 1991

Rubeus Hagrid, who was in assisting Harry Potter in buying his school supplies bought Hedwig as a birthday present for Harry when they went to Diagon Alley together. Harry was delighted and couldn't thank Hagrid enough, while Hedwig had already fallen asleep after leaving the shop.[2] This was the first birthday present Harry had ever received, as the Dursleys did not celebrate his brithday. He became quickly attached to her.

Harry Potter's petEdit

Harry decided on her name after finding it in A History of Magic. Before attending his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry routinely stayed in his bedroom with Hedwig, away from the Dursleys, since she was his only friend at 4 Privet Drive.[4] Throughout her life, Hedwig provided Harry with mail service, as well as loyal companionship. Hedwig often showed Harry her affection by gently nibbling his ears and fingers, and seemed fully capable of understanding his wishes (as she faithfully followed Harry's orders to peck Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger until they responded to him).

Hedwig, Seamus, Ron and Harry Potter (1991)

Hedwig with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley

Hedwig was also highly intelligent, as she flew to France completely of her own accord while Hermione was on holiday there with her parents, just to ensure that Harry received a gift from her for his thirteenth birthday, later arriving at the Leaky Cauldron shortly after Harry stormed out of Privet Drive after a particularly bad argument despite the fact that she had been away and allegedly staying with the Weasleys when Harry left the Dursleys. According to the landlord, Tom, she arrived five minutes after he did.[5] She was also able to deliver letters even though there was no specific address given(only a name). Hedwig was a proud creature, and had a habit of staring or hooting "reproachfully," and showing Harry her tail, cuffing him with a wing, or even nipping him a little harder than usual if she was offended by his words or actions. She also seemed fairly disdainful of the hyperactive behaviour of Ron Weasley's pet owl Pigwidgion (Pig, as Ron called him)

Hedwig 1994

Harry having Hedwig deliver a message to Sirius Black

While living with the Dursleys, Hedwig was locked in her cage for months at a time to prevent Harry from sending messages to his "freaky little friends." As a result, the first holidays after Hogwarts were a frustrating and boring time for her, as much as for Harry. When Harry was rescued by the Weasley brothers in 1992, Hedwig was freed from her cage and flew along following behind the flying Ford Anglia all the way to The Burrow. In 1992 when Harry thought his friends had forgotten him, he mused that Hedwig was the only reason he knew that discovering the wizarding world had not just been a dream. Fortunately, her frustrated hooting during her first year with them convinced the Dursleys to subsequently let Harry let Hedwig out for flights so long as he didn't use her to send messages, though Harry sometimes ignored this rule and possibly began ignoring it entirely after meeting Sirius Black and gaining leverage with the Dursleys.

Snowy Owls are not native to Great Britain, and this caused some inconvenience, as she could not always perform tasks for Harry. Specifically, when Sirius Black was in hiding from the Ministry of Magic in 1994, Harry could not send Hedwig to deliver messages to him, as onlookers would remember a Snowy Owl always going to and from a specific location, prompting a brief disagreement between the two when Hedwig resented being neglected in such a manner. During 1995, she was attacked by associates of Dolores Umbridge when Umbridge tried to intercept Harry's mail, requiring Dobby and Professor Grubby-Plank to nurse her back to health.

Battle of the Seven Potters and deathEdit

"No... NO! Hedwig... Hedwig..."
—Harry to Hedwig, after her death[src]
Tumblr lug4mz1evZ1qgt0vro5 250

Hedwig gets hit with the Killing Curse during the Battle of the Seven Potters

In 1997, Hedwig was killed during the Battle of the Seven Potters. While in the air, a Death Eater cast the Killing Curse, which was most likely meant for Hagrid, but struck Hedwig instead, killing her instantly. It was said she fell like a rag doll to the bottom of her cage immediately.

To add to his grief, Harry was forced to destroy the side car with Hedwig's body inside to slow down the pursuing Death Eaters. Harry was devastated by the loss, for which all of his friends comforted him. Hagrid consoled him by asserting Hedwig lived "a great old life".

Personality and traitsEdit

11-stills-mq-scarpotter-07 large

Harry with Hedwig in 1994, the beginning his Fourth Year

"Just as he limped past the window, Hedwig soared through it with a soft rustle of wings like a small ghost. 'About time!' Harry snarled, as she landed lightly on top of her cage. 'You can put that down, I've got work for you!' 'Hedwig's large round amber eyes gazed reproachfully at him over the dead frog clamped in her beak. ... In addition to every other miserable feeling, he now felt guilty that he'd been irritable with Hedwig; she was the only friend at he had at number four, Privet Drive."
—Hedwig expresses her displeasure at Harry's treatment of her[src]

Hedwig was very loyal to Harry and frequently displayed affection for him by nipping him gently. She sometimes fell out with her master, but they always made up with each other before long. Hedwig obeyed Harry's requests and even pecked Ron and Hermione on Harry's orders, in order to get them to write back to him.[6] She was a dignified and proud creature and was disapproving of less mature owls such as Pigwidgeon.[7] Hedwig would also make a lot of noise if she was locked in her cage for too long.[8] Like most owls, Hedwig was a keen hunter and when possible, was allowed to fly outside free and catch food for herself, such as frogs.[9] She would also eat Eeylops Premium Owl Treats.


There are two female saints named Hedwig:

  • Saint Hedwig of Andechs (1174–1243), Duchess of Silesia, who is the patron saint of orphans.
  • Saint Hedwig (Jadwiga) (1373–1399), King of Poland. A St Hedwig's Day[10] dedicated to Hedwig of Andechs has been observed in October 16th every year since she was canonised in 1267.

Hedvig-A Norwegian name meaning female warrior or battle.[11]

Behind the scenesEdit

Hedwig Plush

Hedwig plush from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter




The Harry Potter Wiki has 71 images related to Hedwig.

Notes and referencesEdit

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