Herpo the Foul was an Ancient Greek Dark Wizard. He is one of the earliest known Dark Wizards and his work is still a lasting aspect of dark magic to date.


Over his lifetime, Herpo invented many vile curses. Though he is best known as the first wizard to hatch a basilisk,[1] he was also the first wizard known to successfully create a Horcrux.[2] Accordingly, he must have committed murder in order to split his soul, though it is unknown whom he killed.

Magical abilities and skills

  • Dark Arts: Herpo was known as one of the most powerful and influential Dark Arts practitioners in history, having immersed himself into Dark Magic of the most advanced and dangerous kind. Herpo is the first wizard to have ever successfully created a Horcrux and is possibly the wizard who invented the process by which to do this. The creation would have left his soul unstable, and rendered him less than human.
  • Spell inventor: Invented many vile curses, which earned him his well-deserved reputation.
  • Parselmouth: One of the earliest known Parselmouths, an uncommon gift to speak with snakes, which has been often connected to the Dark Arts.[3]
  • Basilisk breeder: First wizard to have discovered that hatching a chicken egg under a toad will create the King of Serpents. He managed to control it with Parseltongue, thus initiating one of the few cases of a wizard "domesticating" a XXXXX-class creature (known wizard-killer that cannot be tamed).


  • In Ancient Greek, ἑρπετόν (pronounced "herpeton") means "creeping animal". In modern times, herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles. Basilisks are snakes, and thus reptiles, and Parseltongue is the language of snakes.
  • In Ancient Greek, Herpo's name would be "Ἕρπων ὁ δεινός" (pronounced "Herpōn ho deinos"). This comes from the active participle of the verb ἕρπω, which is cognate with Latin serpo, the active participle of which is serpens - the root of English "serpent."

Behind the scenes

  • It is unknown when or under what circumstances Herpo the Foul died or his Horcrux was destroyed, assuming that these things did happen. If his Horcrux was never destroyed it is possible he is still alive, possibly as a wandering spirit (in a state that Horace Slughorn described as being worse than death).
  • If Herpo did indeed die, it is unknown whether his soul had shared a fate similar to that of Tom Riddle after the latter's death in 1998, assuming he never repented to repair his damaged soul.
  • Herpo the Foul's depiction on his Chocolate Frog Card is somewhat snakelike, though not as much as Lord Voldemort's. This could be reference to Voldemort's decaying appearance in his later life, as he became progressively less human with the more murders he committed. As Herpo does not look as snakelike as Voldemort, he likely only made one Horcrux, or fewer Horcruxes that Riddle's seven.
  • Ironically, he bred a creature whose venom could destroy his Horcrux.
  • Herpo the Foul might have been a distant ancestor of Salazar Slytherin, as Herpo was the earliest known Parselmouth, Slytherin was a Parselmouth himself, and the gift of Parseltongue is likely hereditary, as seen in the Gaunt descendants. Though it is unlikely that the Slytherin family was the only Parselmouth family in existence.

See also


Notes and references

Albus Dumbledore-101-chocFrogCard Chocolate Frog Cards Bridget-wenlock-card-lrg
Gold cards

Armando Dippet · Albus Dumbledore · Barberus Bragge · Bertie Bott · Carlotta Pinkstone · Dzou Yen · Godric Gryffindor · Hermione Granger · Herpo the Foul · Helga Hufflepuff · Harry Potter · Montague Knightley · Phillipus von Hohenheim · Roderick Plumpton · Rowena Ravenclaw · Ronald Weasley · Salazar Slytherin

Silver cards

Alberic Grunnion · Alberta Toothill · Andros the Invincible · Artemisia Lufkin · Blenheim Stalk · Bowman Wright · Chauncey Oldridge · Circe · Cliodna · Crispin Cronk · Cyprian Youdle · Daisy Dodderidge · Derwent Shimpling · Donaghan Tremlett · Dunbar Oglethorpe · Dymphna Furmage · Elfrida Clagg · Felix Summerbee · Fulbert the Fearful · Gaspard Shingleton · Gideon Crumb · Glenda Chittock · Gondoline Oliphant · Gregory the Smarmy · Gwenog Jones · Honoria Nutcombe · Ignatia Wildsmith · Joscelind Wadcock · Kirley Duke · Laverne de Montmorency · Leopoldina Smethwyck · Maeve · Mirabella Plunkett · Mopsus · Morgan le Fay · Oswald Beamish · Sacharissa Tugwood · Thaddeus Thurkell · Thurkell brothers · Wendelin the Weird · Xavier Rastrick

Bronze cards

Adalbert Waffling · Almerick Sawbridge · Archibald Alderton · Balfour Blane · Beatrix Bloxam · Beaumont Marjoribanks · Bridget Wenlock · Burdock Muldoon · Cassandra Vablatsky · Celestina Warbeck · Cornelius Agrippa · Devlin Whitehorn · Dorcas Wellbeloved · Edgar Stroulger · Elladora Ketteridge · Ethelred the Ever-Ready · Flavius Belby · Gifford Ollerton · Glanmore Peakes · Glover Hipworth · Greta Catchlove · Grogan Stump · Gulliver Pokeby · Gunhilda de Gorsemoor · Havelock Sweeting · Hengist of Woodcroft · Heathcote Barbary · Herman Wintringham · Hesper Starkey · Jocunda Sykes · Justus Pilliwickle · Merlin · Merton Graves · Merwyn the Malicious · Miranda Goshawk · Mungo Bonham · Musidora Barkwith · Myron Wagtail · Newton Scamander · Norvel Twonk · Orsino Thruston · Perpetua Fancourt · Quong Po · Roland Kegg · Stoddard Withers · Tilly Toke · Uric the Oddball · Yardley Platt

Famous Vampires cards

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Famous Hags cards

Babayaga · Malodora Grymm · Old Mother Hubbard · Cordelia Misericordia · Leticia Somnolens

Famous Giants cards

Bran the Bloodthirsty · Cyclops · Goliath · Morholt · Hengist of Upper Barnton

Famous Goblins cards

Alguff the Awful · Eargit the Ugly · Gringott · Ug the Unreliable · Urg the Unclean

Dragon cards

Common Welsh Green · Hebridean Black · Hungarian Horntail · Norwegian Ridgeback · Romanian Longhorn

Beast cards

Billywig · Bowtruckle · Doxy · Double-ended Newt · Giant Purple Toad · Giant Squid · Gnome · Gytrash · Imp · Kelpie · Manticore · Mountain Troll · Streeler · Phoenix · Unicorn