Protection from a Lethifold
The only known effective method of protection against a Lethifold is to conjure a Patronus, similarly to the way it can be used defensively against a Dementor. Other spells, such as the Stunning Spell, will not have the desired effect.
The Lethifold was a very rare species, and was found only in tropical climates. The first recorded survivor of a Lethifold attack was a wizard named Flavius Belby. In 1782, Belby was on holiday in Papua New Guinea, and he managed to repel the attack because he was not fully asleep at the time. After unsuccessful repelling attempts with various spells, Belby managed to conjure a Patronus, which caused the Lethifold to release him and slink away. Previous victims had apparently been unable to do this because they were either asleep or Muggles (or both).
It is virtually impossible to determine the number of Lethifold victims, as the creatures leave no clues to their presence. Much easier to calculate is how many people have faked a Lethifold attack, for their own reasons. One known case of an individual attempting to fake a Lethifold attack was Janus Thickey, who disappeared in 1973, leaving behind a note reading "Oh no, a Lethifold's got me, I'm suffocating". Because of this and his empty bed, Thickey's wife and children began mourning him. However, he was soon discovered living five miles away with the landlady of the Green Dragon.
"Lethifold" comes from two roots: lethum, variation of letum, which is Latin for "death", "annihilation", "ruin", and fold, which possibly pertains to the creature's cloak-like appearance. Lethi- is also similar to Levi-, which is reminiscent of levitation (an ability of the Lethifold) and levis, a Latin adjective, meaning "light" (a quality that Lethifold also possess). It can also be related to "lethal", which means "causing death". It is possible that the Ancient Greek lethe, the name of one of the rivers of Hades and meaning "forgetfulness", is also a point of origin, since mortals touched by its waters forgot their lives, ceased to struggle, and (generally) drowned.
Behind the scenes
- It is possible that the Lethifold is related to the Dementor, as they share similar forms of movement, inhumane behaviours, and vulnerability to the Patronus Charm. However, Lethifolds have been classified as beasts, whilst Dementors are considered non-beings.
- According to W.O.M.B.A.T., Dementors may be unknown in tropical regions, while Lethifold are found only in tropics.
Notes and references
|Magical Creatures by classification|
|X||Flobberworm · Horklump|
|XX||Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse|
|XXX||Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse|
|XXXX||Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merpeople · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti|
|XXXXX||Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf|