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Buckbeak is one of the supporting characters from the 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He served as one of Hagrid's pets, but he was sentenced to death by Lucius Malfoy after the creature attacked Draco.



Buckbeak is a magnificent and a proud hippogriff who are easily offended by insults according to Hagrid, which results Draco Malfoy learning this the hard way. However, Buckbeak shows liking to Harry Potter, even when they first meet. Buckbeak is shown to be defensive and protective of others when he fights off Lupin, when he transformed into a werewolf.

Physical appearance

Buckbeak is a slender grey hippogriff that is consists of the body of a horse with the wings, talons and head of an eagle. He has feathers in shades of dark and light grey, a white underbelly, and grey front talons, hind hoofs and beak.

Role in the film

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Buckbeak is first seen in the first lesson of the Care of Magical Creatures class with Hagrid as the teacher. When the third year Gryffindor and Slytherin caught sight of him, they look surprised. When Hagrid asks for a volunteer to pet Buckbeak, Harry unwittingly becomes when everyone else steps back. Hagrid directs Harry to bow and carefully approach him. When Buckbeak takes a liking to Harry who has successfully approached him and respected him, Hagrid lets him go a ride on Buckbeak around Hogwarts before landing back at the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest.

However, Draco Malfoy, ignoring Hagrid's warning of never to insult a hippogriff, approaches rather foolishly and calls him a "great ugly brute". This resulted Buckbeak to rise onto his hind legs and slash Draco's arm, until Hagrid calms him down with meat. Hagrid carries the wounded Draco to the hospital wing whilst Harry strokes Buckbeak in a comforting way. It is mentioned that due to the incident, Lucius Malfoy has Buckbeak sentenced to death.

Buckbeak is later seen tied to Hagrid's pumpkin patch on the day of the execution as Harry, Ron and Hermione visit Hagrid, who rushes them out of sight as Dumbledore, Fudge and Macnair arrive to carry out the execution. Dumbledore, Fudge and Hagrid, as well as Harry, Ron and Hermione who are hiding, watch as Macnair decapitates Buckbeak.

Fortunately for Buckbeak, Harry and Hermione went back in time by using the Time Turner to save Buckbeak. They lure the hippogriff away from sight after warning their past selves. With Buckbeak gone, Fudge and Macnair are dismayed and Dumbledore calls off the execution, leaving Macnair to chop one of the pumpkins in frustration.

They hide Buckbeak in the Forbidden Forest until nightfall where they witness Lupin transforming into a werewolf, because he has forgotten to take the Wolfsbane Potion whilst finding Peter Pettigrew. As Harry and Hermione save their past selves from the werewolf, they end up getting corned by the werewolf until Buckbeak saves them by slashing at the werewolf, causing him to run off.

After Harry saves his past self and Sirius Black by casting the Patronus charm on the Dementors, Harry and Hermione ride on Buckbeak to the topmost tower to rescue the imprisoned Sirius Black. As Harry and Hermione return to safety in Hogwarts, Sirius rides off with Buckbeak to go into hiding.

Video Games

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1–4

Harry Potter for Kinect

Lego Dimensions

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Theme Parks

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Flight of the Hippogriff

Printed Media


Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book

Lego Harry Potter: Building the Magical World

Lego Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World

Harry Potter: The Character Vault

Harry Potter: The Creature Vault



Lego Harry Potter


Differences from the source material

  • Buckbeak also defecated in the film version; it happens right after Ron urges Harry to go up to Buckbeak. The CGI team believed this was the first time an animal was animated doing this, but Walking With Dinosaurs did it first in 1999.
  • In the film adaptation, Buckbeak rushes in to save Harry and Hermione from Lupin, who was turned into a werewolf.

External Links

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J.K. Rowling | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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