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Thread: Animagus

  1. #1
    Rose Wilts


    I was wondering if you can choose what form you transform into. I couldn't find it anywhere in the book. Can I just leave it up to my imagination to decide?

  2. #2
    red haired mom
    Here is the only information we have on the trasformation. Some of it comes from JKR in interviews.

    Although, since it isn't stated in the books, it could be considered from varying viewpoints. If you think interviews count as canon, then take what is in the link as gospel.

    If you think only the books constitute canon, then you can make up whatever you want.

    Hope that helped, good luck,


  3. #3
    I don't have a link to the interview or even remember what site I read it on but, I read one where JKR said that a wizard's Animagus form was closely related to their Patronus form. I take that to mean the Animagus would 'usually' be the same as the Patronus. I say 'usually' because she said 'closely related' and not 'is'. I have read a fan fic where an Animagus was unable to transform because their Patronus had changed due to an 'emotional shock'. Remember Tonks in HBP? Her Patronus changed to, presumably a wolf, because she had fallen in love with Remus Lupin. Taking JKR's 'closely related' comment, if Tonks had been an Animagus, her Animagus form would have likely been interfered with, in some manner or another, due to the Patronus changing. Maybe not in the way that fic I read suggests, but in some way.

    Of course, as red haired mom said, it's not mentioned in the books so you can pretty much do what you want. Have fun with it, just be consistent. Decide how it works and stick with that throughout your story.

  4. #4
    Actually, I think that animagus form and patronus form are related, but not in that way. A patronus is something you feel protected by; Harry has a stag because his father's animagus form was a stag. One can argue that Hermione's otter is due to Ron being named Weasley (weasles and otters are related) and living near Ottery St. Catchpole. Umbridge has a cat because she loves cats, but I highly doubt she'd have a cat animagus. It's not a conscious choice; Harry didn't know his father was an animagus. It's magic, what can you say? A patronus can change when what you feel protected by changes.

    An animagus, on the other hand, appears to be an animal which represents your personality. In fact, I seem to remember that from some reliable source, but I can't be sure... James was a leader type, strong and proud, and hence his animagus was a stag. There's usually only one stag in a flock of deer, and he's the leader. Stags appear proud and are very graceful creatures, perhaps representing James' skill in the air. Sirius is an intensely loyal person, fiercely protective and sometimes aggressive. The dog fits his personality perfectly. McGonagall is independent and determined as a cat. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I don't believe ones Animagus form is a conscious choice any more than ones Patronus is. After all, I don't think Peter would have chosen a Rat for the purpose of keeping a Werewolf company if he'd had a choice.

    These are mostly speculations, of course, but it's what makes most sense to me.

    Excellent inference of canon. 5 points.

  5. #5
    I actually don't think that the person can choose their Animagus form. I sincerely doubt that Pettigrew would have *chosen* to become a relatively small rodent, what with James becoming a stag (which are typically fairly large) and Sirius being a LARGE dog. He would have wanted something larger, or flashier. Given the choice I think he may have been okay with turning into, say, a falcon or hawk, but "small rodent" was probably not high on his list of choices.

    And he idolised James. So he would have wanted something that would impress him. I think he'd have been much, much happier with, like, a large cat (as in, panther or lynx or something. Or lion).

    So no, I don't think the Animagus chooses their form.

  6. #6
    This is an interesting debate. I thought it prudent to point out one thing. It doesn't conclusively prove...well, anything really...but it bears mentioning. There is (I think) only one known Animagus whose Patronus we see in the books. McGonogall is a cat Animagus and has a cat Patronus. Again, this proves absolutely nothing, but it bears mentioning.

  7. #7
    red haired mom
    McGonagall having the same Patronus and Animagus forms are interesting, but if you look at it from a different angle, you'll see something else that bears mentioning.

    Dumbledore's Patronus is a Phoenix, I really don't think you could have a Phoenix Animagus form. Mainly because they are immortal, and you wouldn't be able to die, only reborn. I don't think that would work for a human in animal form any more than it would in human form.

    We were never told what the Patronus' were for the known Animagus' other than McGonagall, so it's like I said in the beginning, it is really up to you what you let them be/do.

    I agree with the others about the person not having any control over what they turn into either. It makes the most sense that it would identify with the personality of the Animagus.

    Peter the Rat, which should have been one of their first clues that he wasn't as trustworthy as he should've been. James the Stag, proud and regal, Sirius the big lovable dog, loyal and trustworthy. They do all fit very well with the characteristics of each.

    Rita Skeeter is a Beetle, she buzzes around looking for the dirt on people so her form enhances her ability to do that, and so on with the others.

    But please, as jediprankster mentioned, be consistant. Decide up front, and keep it the same all the way through.


  8. #8
    We found out James's patronus in was a stag if I remember correctly. That leads me to believe that someone's animagus is strongly influenced by their patronus because I doubt James, Sirius and Peter learnt to be animagi before a patronus, and we've never seen the last 2 patronus's, but I think Sirius's would have been a dog, or from the canine family, and the same with Peter.

    If that made any sense at all, I congratulate you!

  9. #9
    Though there does seems to be a certain sort of relation between a person's Animagus form and Patronus, I think there's a bit more of a difference. The Animagus form seems to be more symbolic of a person's "soul," if you will. Pettigrew is probably the best example - he feels he is inferior to others, trails after the other Marauders (which could be seen as scavenging), and seeks the protection of others who are more capable than he, just like a rat. Sirius is really loyal to his friends, almost in the same way dogs are loyal to their masters. James is proud like a stag, and Minerva is prudent and watchful like a cat. Something tells me if they had the option to CHOOSE which animal they wanted to permanently be able to change to, they all would have picked something different. Like cmwinters said:

    I sincerely doubt that Pettigrew would have *chosen* to become a relatively small rodent.... I think he'd have been much, much happier with, like, a large cat.
    Since Peter was always pushed around, he would've wanted a big, strong animal. Not a wimpy little rat. What you want isn't closely related to what you are, and therefore, becoming an Animagus is sort of like putting a mirror to your soul. You get to see what you are, represented by an animal.

    As for the Patronus, that's more a representation of your personality combined with your feelings/emotions/etc. Harry loved his father like crazy, and always thought he was following his father's footsteps. Naturally, his Patronus is his father's Animagus. Snape has a doe, which is the same as Lily's, who he deeply loved.

    One can argue that Hermione's otter is due to Ron being named Weasley (weasles and otters are related)...
    And like Maia said, Hermione, no matter how much Ron may annoy her, likes Ron (on a side-note, Arthur Weasley's Patronus was shown to be, in fact, a weasel.). But your Patronus draws from your personality too: Luna is a hare, symbolic of knowledge and happiness. Kingsley has a lynx: showing strength and pride, but not ostentatiously like a lion or bigger cat.

    Keep in mind also, that Tonk's Patronus changed as she and her personality did. Rowling stated somewhere that originally she had a ferret, which is chipper and a bit silly like Tonks. But it changed to a wolf-like animal due to the emotional rollercoaster she had while falling for Remus and losing Sirius. A person's Patronus reflects them as a whole, their feelings and personality. Then you have Minerva, who is a cat Animagus and has a cat Patronus. Since both are the same, a cat is probably the most clear representation of her and her personality in either form.
    Umbridge has a cat because she loves cats, but I highly doubt she'd have a cat animagus.
    Like Maia said, I don't think Umbridge would have been a cat; maybe she would be a toad? hahah.

    Finally, it should be noted that both the Patronus Charm and Animagus Transfig. spells are advanced forms of magic, respectively, one likely more advanced than the other. Harry had a special circumstance to learn the Patronus Charm (Dementors attacking him), and happened to have a teacher who knew and was willing to teach (Lupin), during Prisoner of Azkaban. That was just good timing. But I find it unlikely that unless there were very similar circumstances, anyone under at least their 6th year would learn the Patronus Charm (the judge that tested Harry for his OWL was baffled that Harry could conjure a corporeal Patronus at the age of 15 in OotP).

    As for Animagus Transfiguration, not only is the spell no doubt extremely difficult to master (besides the very few people mentioned in canon, there are only six other registered Animagi for the entire 20th century as a whole, so says The Lexicon), it is also regulated by the Ministry. You have to register if you learn how to become an Animagus, and it's punishable by law if you don't register; no doubt this means it is not only a difficult trait to come by, but also a serious matter to deal with. Again, I think it took a ton of effort for the Marauders to learn the spell (I think the Lexicon mentioned that they learned how to transfigure themselves in their 5th year, but of course, when I need to double-check, the server is down.). I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be a lot of info on the spell at school, unless it was in the restricted section of the library. And if the spell were accessible, I'm sure it would take months, if not years, to master.

    Okay, I'm done now, hahahah.

    Fantastic expansion of previous points and great developments. 10 points.

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