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Herpo the Foul

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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. He is best known as the first wizard to hatch a Basilisk. He is reputed to have invented many vile curses and was also the first wizard known to successfully create a Horcrux, perhaps having designed the ritual himself. Accordingly, he must have committed murder to split his soul. He is one of the earliest known Parselmouths.

Magical abilities and skills

  • Dark Arts: Herpo was known as one of the most powerful and influential Dark Arts practitioners in history. Herpo is the first wizard to have ever successfully created a Horcrux and is possibly the wizard who invented the methods of such a process. 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.
  • 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 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.

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, in a state that Horace Slughorn described as "death would be preferable".
  • 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 reconciled to repair his damaged soul.

See also


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