resin diorama

The Deep Origins of the Patronus

What exactly is it?
As Professor Lupin told Harry in Prisoner of Azkaban, the Patronus is ‘a kind of Anti-Dementor – a guardian which acts as a shield between you and the Dementor.’ It’s also ‘a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon – hope, happiness, the desire to survive – but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it.’

The Patronus has two forms, non-corporeal and corporeal. A non-corporeal Patronus can appear as ‘a thin wisp of silver’ that hovers ‘like mist’. Whereas a corporeal Patronus has a form that is clearly defined and is more than vapor or smoke.

The ability to cast a corporeal or non-corporeal Patronus is down to the skill of the witch or wizard. Each Patronus is unique to the witch or wizard who conjures it, and it’s possible, in some cases, for a Patronus to change.

Here are the witches and wizards who accomplished it, with some significant Patronus moments from across the stories.

HP – Stag

Harry flung himself out from behind the bush and pulled out his wand.
‘EXPECTO PATRONUM!’ he yelled.
And out of the end of his wand burst, not a shapeless cloud of mist, but a blinding, dazzling, silver animal. He screwed up his eyes, trying to see what it was. It looked like a horse.

Harry’s Patronus took the same shape as his father’s. He saw it for the first time during a Dementor attack with Hermione and Sirius at the Great Lake, and at first glance it looked like a horse. Coincidentally, the Patronus of Harry’s future wife, Ginny Weasley, was a horse.

James Potter – Stag
James Potter’s Patronus was the same form as his Animagus.


Lily Potter – Doe

Lily is never seen casting a Patronus in the “Harry Potter” books or films, but Rowling has noted her ability to produce a corporeal doe Patronus on multiple occasions.

resin diorama

Albus Dumbledore – Phoenix

‘Should I go and get someone?’ said Harry. ‘Madam Pomfrey?’
‘No,’ said Dumbledore swiftly. ‘Stay here.’
He raised his wand into the air and pointed it in the direction of Hagrid’s cabin. Harry saw something silvery dart out of it and streak away through the trees like a ghostly bird.

It still gets us after all this time. We also see Snape’s Patronus when it guides Harry to Godric Gryffindor’s sword in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

wood resin comb

Take the Patronus around you.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *