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"Hagrid never opened the Chamber of Secrets. He was innocent."
— Aragog supporting Hagrid.

Aragog was an Acromantula who led a colony in the Forbidden Forest. He was a character who first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

He was hatched and cared for by Rubeus Hagrid, living in a dungeon at Hogwarts. Tom Riddle later falsely accused Aragog of doing what a Basilisk, the Serpent of Slytherin had done. Aragog run into hiding, and died decades later.

Biography

Early life

Tom finds Hagrid and Aragog

Aragog was purchased in a distant land by a traveller when he was an egg. The traveller gave the egg to Rubeus Hagrid, who was still attending Hogwarts.[1]

By June 1943, Aragog had hatched. He was kept hidden under a box at Hogwarts in a dungeon.[2][1] He never saw any other place in Hogwarts beside that dungeon he was kept in. Hagrid fed him scraps of food.[1]

Aragog decided he wouldn't hurt a human out of respect for Hagrid.[1] He could later feel a Basilisk in the school, and developed a natural fear of it. He couldn't even speak it's name to Hagrid, who begged Aragog to share what it was.[1] It had Petrified students, and killed a girl.[2]

Hagrid's fellow student, Tom Riddle found out about Aragog. To cover up opening the Chamber of Secrets and unleashing a Basilisk, he framed Hagrid and Aragog instead, saying Aragog had killed the girl. He tried to apprehend Aragog, but he escaped into the Forbidden Forest due to Hagrid's intervention.[2]

Leading a colony

Harry, Ron and Fang in Aragog's colony

Aragog found a home in the heart of the Forbidden Forest thanks to Hagrid. He later got married and had children. They established a colony in the hollow. They cut down trees in their hollow, and Aragog lived in the center of it. Hagrid brought food to Aragog, who persuaded their colony to let Hagrid live.[1]

In May 1993, Hagrid was taken to Azkaban because it was thought he was responsible for opening the Chamber of Secrets again. He told Harry and Ron to follow the spiders to find any answers to what had actually happened. Aragog was sleeping in the center of their hollow when a group woke him up to bring him Harry, Ron and Fang.[1]

He told everyone to kill them but Harry spoke and told him he was a friend of Hagrid. Aragog was confused because Hagrid had never sent anyone to their colony before, but Harry explained that Hagrid was in trouble. Aragog was again confused because he thought the Chamber of Secrets happened decades ago. Aragog told Harry a story about Hagrid's innocence and revealed who was killed the first time. He was angry at any talk of him being the thing in the Chamber of Secrets, telling Harry it was something Acromantulas feared and wouldn't even speak the name of.[1]

Unfortunately, Aragog was unwilling to let them go because he wouldn't extend Hagrid's protection to any friends. He gave the colony permission to eat them, but they managed to escape in a feral Ford Anglia.[1] Hagrid and Aragog's innocence was later proven.[3]

Later life

In June 1996, Harry and Hermione Granger were luring Professor Umbridge into a trap in the Forbidden Forest and unknowingly took a route that led to Aragog's colony. A herd of centaurs intercepted and saved the group.[4] That summer, Aragog began suffering an unknown illness and Hagrid began taking giant grubs of food to him in the hope it would help him heal. The colony was beginning to get impatient and funny towards Hagrid.[5]

In March 1997, Hagrid spent a day in the Forest reading to Aragog but he was deteriorating and failing to show any improvement in health.[6] In April, Aragog passed away. The colony was preparing to cannibalise Aragog's body but Hagrid was able to get it. The colony fought Hagrid for it and wouldn't hold back their craving to devour Hagrid. He didn't know Aragog was why he had been safe in the colony, and was shocked to find out. A burial was held at a deep hole that evening by Hagrid's Hut.[7]

Aragog's burial

Hagrid asked Harry and Ron to attend Aragog's burial, saying they knew how special he was. Ron scoffed because Aragog had wanted to kill them and he couldn't understand how Hagrid expected anyone could grieve for Aragog. The burial was attended by Harry and Horace Slughorn. Slughorn saw an opportunity to get a piece of Aragog's valuable venom. Hagrid was devastated by Aragog's passing.[7]

Behind the scenes

  • Aragog was a very loyal Acromantula who was able to build a strong, personal relationship towards a human.[1]
  • He suppressed a biological need to devour humans because he had respect for Hagrid, and he commanded a whole colony in such dominant leadership, he persuaded them not to eat Hagrid. However he was unwilling to extend such protection to any friend of Hagrid.[1]
  • He naturally feared Basilisks and he was unwilling to even speak its name because of it.[1]

Notes and sources

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