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The Fat Lady is one of the minor characters who appear in a enchanted portrait that guards Gryffindor tower in the Harry Potter franchise. She is portrayed by the late Elizabeth Spriggs in the first film and Dawn French in the third film.



The Fat Lady is a calm, ladylike, and polite portrait guarding the Gryffindor tower in the first film. In the third film, the Fat Lady is flamboyant and obsessed with her singing, attempting to sing at the high pitch, possibly taking the opera saying, "It ain't over til the Fat Lady sings," literally. Her terrible singing voice annoys the Gryffindor students, and she can be displeased when they seem to be unimpressed with her singing.

However, she can be easily terrified at times when Sirius Black wrecks her portrait in a fury, resulting in her fleeing to another portrait, cowering in fear.

Physical appearance

In the first film, the Fat Lady is a slightly obese woman with fair skin and black hair in a bob and wears a pink silk dress. Behind her is the Sixteen-century European setting.

In the third film, she is more obese, and her hair is shortened to a bun with a few berries in it. She now wears a white dress and sandals. Behind her is the Classic period setting of Greece.



Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The Fat Lady, as she appears in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

She only appears in one scene in the film. When the Gryffindor first-years arrive with the prefect Percy Weasley, the Fat Lady requests for the password, Percy replies, "Caput Dragonis", and the Fat Lady opens the portrait door for the first years to enter Gryffindor tower.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

While the Gryffindors are on their way to Gryffindor tower in the Grand Staircase tower, The Fat Lady holds them up as she attempts to sing at the high pitch. Though she has a bad singing voice, she cheats by breaking her glass goblet against the pillar in her portrait. With the students unimpressed with her singing, she finally lets them in, calling them "Plebs" in response to their unimpressed reactions.

Later on in the film, on Halloween, The Fat Lady refuses to let Sirius Black into Gryffindor Tower because he didn't have the password. In response, Sirius slashes her portrait out of frustration and leaves, causing her to flee into a landscape portrait hiding behind a hippo. After the students and Dumbledore and Filch found her ruined portrait, they find her in the landscape portrait where she explains the attack to Dumbledore, who has the teachers search the castle, Filch to tighten security, and the Gryffindors to sleep in the Great Hall.

In the deleted scene, her portrait is replaced by Sir Cadogen temporarily as her portrait is being restored by Filch. After Cadogen revealed to McGonagall that he let Sirius Black into Gryffindor Tower because he had to list passwords, she presumably returned to her post afterward.

Video games


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


  • In the first film, her portrait is located somewhere in the castle on the seventh floor, but in the third film, her portrait is now located on the seventh floor in the Grand Staircase tower. The reason behind the change of location for the Fat Lady's portrait is because the filmmakers opted not to go back to Gloucester Cathedral where the corridor was filmed for the first film.
  • In the third film, during her first appearance in her new form in the film, there is a pillar on the left side of the painting behind her. Later on, after her portrait has been slashed, the pillar has gone.

External Links

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