Aragog’s revenge at the Battle of Hogwarts


Spiders occur throughout Harry Potter most prominently in the second book and they are quite ambiguous, never quite on the side of Dark Wizards or the Order of the Phoenix but showing more of a grey morality, of self-interest.

Aragog is perhaps the best example of this. Hagrid’s pet giant spider whose lair Harry and Ron stumble into has a friendship with the groundskeeper and who his family does not attack on his command and the spiders do not seem to cause any problems at Hogwarts. Indeed, they flee from the Serpent of Slytherin, their natural enemy.

Yet Aragog despite having no grudge against Harry and Ron, indeed providing them with vital information, nonetheless allows his spiders to attempt to devour them. Aragog’s simple self-interest is somewhat distinct from either the philosophy that Harry holds of trying to do the right thing, but it also lacks the pure malice of Voldemort’s totalitarian desires. Instead Aragog’ seems to have a sim

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Aragog himself dies a relatively peaceful death, his fangs distilled for rare Acromantula, venom by the profit-minded Professor Slughorn as he lies motionless, but he sets off a power vacuum that leads to the spiders joining the fray during the Battle of Hogwarts and terrifying Ron in the process!

Over the course of the Deathly Hallows, Death-eaters control moves into the Forbidden Forrest. This disrupts the spider’s ecosystem and during the Battle of Hogwarts, they appear, burrowing through walls and begin attacking both sides, assaulting “Death-Eater and Hogwartian alike” as the book notes.

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Hagrid tries to defend the spiders but is himself carried away by them as without Arragog they are not restrained from attacking Hagrid and have become completely feral.

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Nonetheless, it is fitting that the descendants of Aarogog who was framed and banished from Hogwarts, should make such a triumphant entrance, as they break through the front doors and add an extra chaos to the Battle.

It is difficult to gauge what impact the spiders had as they attacked both sides and didn’t have a clear motive other than to wreak revenge on those who had intruded on their homes. However, by disrupting the Battle, they possibly and inadvertently bought Harry some more time even if he did have to blast through a few of them.

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The spiders add to the fun of the Harry Potter novels and movies. Even if they were fighting out of instinct, they were victims of Voldemort and the Serpent of Slytherin and a reminder that there are some creatures in Harry Potter that are beyond the grasp either of Death-Eaters of the Aurors.