Lycanthropy is the state in which a werewolf finds him or herself: that of turning into a fearsome and deadly near-wolf. Muggles are far less likely to be infected by lycanthrophy, as the wounds have a higher fatality rate. To date, there is no cure for lycanthrophy.
The term is often used to describe actual werewolves, but some authors, like Arsenius Jigger in his work The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts, assert that its correct use is of describing a mental disease of fantasising being a wolf and, thus, prefer the term werewolfry, when referring to the condition of being a werewolf.
Behind the scenes
- J. K. Rowling has stated that she used lycanthropy as a metaphor for HIV in the Harry Potter novels.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)