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The Boggarts In Harry Potter Explained

The world of "Harry Potter" is filled with all sorts of magic and magical creatures alike. It's actually not a stretch to say that, because the books and movies were told from the perspective of younger wizards and witches, some of whom were new to the world of magic, fans were only treated to a small fraction of what's possible. Still, the creatures, magical spells, and various potions that viewers did witness during the events of the "Harry Potter" franchise were interesting enough in their own right.

Each book and movie alike tried to introduce a new magical creature for Harry and his friends to either contend with or use as a plot point later on in the story. From the hippogriff in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" that was ultimately used to save the life of Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) to the Thestrals that are used to fly to the Ministry of Magic in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," every creature had its purpose. However, there's one creature in the "Harry Potter" universe that's uniquely separate from others: boggarts. Here's a rundown of what they are and what makes them such a fascinating entity in "Harry Potter."

Boggarts take on the shape of one's worst fear

While creatures like hippogriffs and dragons have the distinct honor of actually looking like their true selves to the eyes of anyone who happens to see them, boggarts are unique in that no one really knows what they look like. Anyone who encounters a boggart will instead come face-to-face with their worst fear materialized. This is explained in detail by Professor Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) in both the movie and book versions of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

There are a couple of notable ways to repel a boggart. The most common way, which was taught by Professor Lupin, is the Boggart Banishing Spell, Riddikulus. This defensive incantation requires the user to envision a way to turn their greatest fear into something amusing or funny. Once the boggart is stripped of its power of fear over its victim, it is banished. Since the boggart is amortal, it cannot be killed, never having truly been alive. Additionally, the boggart also takes on the weaknesses and strengths of the forms it mimics, meaning that it can be repelled in a way that would work on the person or object it takes the appearance of.

Overall, boggarts are a fascinatingly mysterious entity in the world of "Harry Potter," unlike most other creatures and monsters.