Buckbeak was a Hippogriff in the Harry Potter universe who was taken care of by Hagrid until he was wrongfully accused of being violent by Lucius Malfoy.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

Buckbeak was a male Hippogriff who dwelled on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the Forbidden Forest close to it. He was taken care of by Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper of Hogwarts, along with the other Hippogriffs. Buckbeak resembled a giant eagle in some respects, especially when he took the first flight. He is described as looking like a magical beast that is half eagle and half horse in the books. 

Buckbeak was first introduced in the Harry Potter universe when he was part of a Care of Magical Creatures lesson by Hagrid for the third-year students of Gryffindor and Slytherin houses. While the lesson went well in the beginning, with Harry sitting on Buckbeak’s back and flying to a distance riding him, it was eventually ruined when Draco Malfoy insulted Buckbeak, which caused Buckbeak to scratch Malfoy with his talons and claws in retaliation. Eventually, Buckbeak was sentenced to death but later escaped with the help of Harry and Hermione. He was later named Witherwings by Sirius Black, who became his caretaker to avoid being identified as the Hippogriff that escaped the death penalty.

Ministry Of Magic Hearing 

Hermione Granger was not on speaking terms with Harry and Ron, which resulted in her trying to help out Hagrid with the hearing alone. When the hearing results came, it was decided that Buckbeak would be put down shortly after. Hagrid had tried very hard to fight the case, but he failed to make a strong case for Buckbeak’s survival, and since Draco’s father, Lucius Malfoy, had already threatened the members of the jury into making the decision to sentence Buckbeak to death, they went ahead with it citing it as an act of the disposal of dangerous creatures.

However, Hagrid’s care had made Buckbeak very close to Hagrid, and Hagrid was grief-stricken too. On the day of his sentence, Walden MacNair was sent as an executioner by the Ministry, along with Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, and Albus Dumbledore, to Hagrid’s hut to carry out the sentence. However, Hermione and Harry use the Time-Turner to undo some of the effects of the day and also decide to escape with Buckbeak, who was tied to Hagrid’s pumpkin patch. They finally helped Sirius Black escape the Dementor’s Kiss by ensuring that he left the castle grounds on Buckbeak’s back, flying away.

Appearance in the Harry Potter Series

Buckbeak first appeared in the Harry Potter series in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. To make the first Care of Magical Creatures lesson more interesting, Hagrid decided to teach the third-year students about Hippogriffs. Hagrid asked the class to come closer to Buckbeak and then explained to them the origin of Hippogriffs. Hippogriffs were the offspring of a male Griffin and a female horse. Their front resembled that of an eagle with forelegs containing talons and wings for flight. Their hind legs resembled that of a lion and a bit of a horse. Hippogriffs were very proud creatures and would not bow to another human unless approached cautiously. Harry approached Buckbeak very cautiously and bowed low.

After a few moments, Buckbeak bowed back as a sign of consent. Then Harry was able to pet Buckbeak and eventually take flight while he sat on Buckbeak’s back. They flew near the Forbidden Forest near a paddock. Other students tried to take turns, and Draco Malfoy skipped the first step of approaching Buckbeak carefully and hurled insults at the beast. This resulted in Buckbeak losing his calm and attacking Malfoy. Malfoy was taken to the hospital wing by Hagrid, but Malfoy told his father, Lucius Malfoy, who in turn filed a complaint in the Ministry requesting for Buckbeak to be put down immediately. He is also said to have possibly bribed or threatened the people involved in sentencing Buckbeak. 

Buckbeak appeared later in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry met both Sirius and Buckbeak at the cave in which they were hiding in Hogsmeade. This is around the time Buckbeak was renamed Witherwings by Sirius to avoid suspicion. Buckbeak eventually moved to Twelve Grimmauld place with Sirius and stayed there through most of his time. He was kept hidden in Sirius’ mother’s bedroom upstairs. On the day of Harry’s vision of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort, Kreacher was deliberately ordered by the Malfoys and Bellatrix Lestrange to injure Buckbeak, which is why Sirius was not available to respond to Harry when he tried checking in. This resulted in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, which is where Sirius died at the hands of Bellatrix. Buckbeak was very sad after the death of Sirius. However, as Harry had inherited Buckbeak’s care along with the house due to Sirius’ will after Sirius’ death, he swiftly sent Buckbeak to live with Hagrid, who was thrilled at the opportunity of reuniting with Buckbeak. Buckbeak was in Hagrid’s hut on several occasions, including Aragog’s funeral.

Buckbeak fought valiantly on several occasions to protect Harry. His loyalty to Harry was exceptional. On the day of the death of Dumbledore, Severus Snape escaped the Hogwarts grounds along with several Death Eaters. When Harry followed him, and the two eventually dueled, Buckbeak came in the defense of Harry and fought Snape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceThis scene was omitted from the film version of this novel. Buckbeak also fought in the Battle of Hogwarts along with a few thestrals and Grawp.


Why does Buckbeak get killed?

Contrary to the belief that Hermione, Ron, and Harry see Buckbeak being killed by the executioner Walden Macnair, Buckbeak doesn’t actually get killed. When Hermione and Harry use the Time Turner later and take Buckbeak away with them, it implies that Buckbeak was never hurt. However, the executioner does slash a rather large pumpkin in Hagrid’s pumpkin patch, which causes a lot of birds in the patch to fly away out of fear, which is what Harry, Hermione, and Ron see.

What type of animal is Buckbeak?

Buckbeak is a Hippogriff, which is an offspring of a male Griffin and a female horse. Since Griffins themselves are offsprings of a lion and an eagle, Hippogriffs like Buckbeak have several traits resembling both eagles and lions, but also that of a horse. Buckbeak was one of the several hippogriffs that Hagrid was taking care of on the Hogwarts grounds.

Is Buckbeak a real bird?

Buckbeak is not a real bird. In fact, Buckbeak would not be technically considered a bird as he is a Hippogriff which is a magical beast unknown to Muggles except in fiction. However, Buckbeak and Hippogriffs do have some traits of a bird as they are close relatives of another magical beast known as a Griffin, which is a cross between an eagle and a lion. Therefore, Hippogriffs, including Buckbeak, have several traits that eagles possess, including wings and talons.

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