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Grindylow

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The Harry Potter Canon
1920s SPOILER WARNING! This page contains information from the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

"You are easily satisfied. Lupin is hardly over-taxing you - I would expect first-years to be able to deal with Red Caps and Grindylows."
-- Severus Snape (PA9)

Grindylow

Grindylows are found throughout Britain and Ireland, including the lake on the grounds of Hogwarts in Scotland. Pale green in colour, these water demons have sharp horns, pointed fangs and brittle spindly fingers. Grindylows show aggression towards humans, wizards or Muggles, but merpeople have been known to domesticate them.

  • Professor Lupin invited Harry into his office to have tea and to show Harry his Grindylow, which would be the subject of their next Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson (PA8).
  • Hermione told Professor Snape that their class has been learning about Grindylows recently and he retorted that first years should be able to deal with them (PA9).
  • Harry and the rest of his Defense Against the Dark Arts class have to wade across a pond containing a Grindylow as part of their DADA exam (PA16).
  • Harry and his fellow Triwizard champions have to get past Grindylows in the lake to retrieve what was taken from them during the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament. Fleur Delacour was attacked by them and was unable to complete the second task (GF26).
  • No-Maj Jacob Kowalski saw some Grindylows floating with Doxys and Glow Bugs in Newt Scamander's case in 1926 (WFT).

Commentary

Etymology

The Grindylow is a mythical creature from taken from Yorkshire legends.  The name is believed to have been derived from the words "grindel" and "low" (Colbert 6). The word "grindel", or "gryndel" in Middle English, is compared to the Old Norse word "grimd" which means fierceness (OED Online). "Low" relates to a "distance above or below a base level", but it also can mean "Of a river, the sea, etc.: below the usual water level; particularly shallow" (OED Online).

Notes

Colbert, David. "The Hidden Myths in Harry Potter." New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2005. Print.

"grindel, adj." OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2015. Web. 15 August 2015.

"low, adj. and n.2." OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2015. Web. 15 August 2015.

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Tags: attacks dangerous fangs fingers water wet