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The Forbidden Forest

The Forbidden Forest

The forest hides many secrets.
~ Ronan about the Forbidden Forest.

The Forbidden Forest is a location in the Harry Potter book series. A dark and foreboding woods sitting outside the boundaries of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, for it is filled with dangerous monsters and is strictly off limits (with a few exceptions) to students due to the perils lurking there.

Geography

Located within northern Scotland, the forest is a massive swathe of deciduous and coniferous trees bordering moorland and Hogwarts school. The inner part of the woods is so heavily forested that little light penetrates through the tree cover; many trees are very old and massive in size.

It is described as being rather misty in some areas, with an almost perpetual, sinister air of danger.

History

The Sorcerer's Stone'

It is the first place to be mentioned in Hogwarts by Percy, who says to Harry that it is filled with dangerous beasts and prefects need to protect students from them. It has an evil air throughout the book and even Draco Malfoy shudders at its mention.

In their detention, Harry, Hermione, Neville and Draco go into the Forest to track a unicorn killer with Hagrid, but fail to find it. Harry and Draco do, however, and when Draco flees in fear Ronan the centaur steps in to fight it off and rescue Harry. It was revealed as Voldemort's hideout during that time.

The Chamber of Secrets

The Forest plays an important part after Hagrid tells Ron and Harry to "follow the spiders" and the boys look for spiders round the castle. Eventually they find some crawling to the Forest. Ron braves his fear of them to find something to help Hagrid.

Instead, they meet repulsive, gigantic black spiders which carry the boys to the lair of their patriarch, Aragog. He tells them about the Basilisk, but allows his family to eat the humans. Fortunately, the Weasleys' car finds and saves them.

The information that Aragog supplied led them to deduce tha the girl that was killed by Slytherin's Monster was in fact Moaning Myrtle.

The Prisoner of Azkaban

The Care of Magical Creatures class gets off to a bad start there when Draco Malfoy is seriously injured by Buckbeak the hippogriff after provoking him unfairly and getting Hagrid in trouble.

Harry and Hermione travel back in time with the help of her Time-Turner in order to save Buckbeak from being executed; with some difficulty, they manage to coax him into the forest to avoid being seen. As night falls, they look on from the treeline as Remus Lupin loses control and turns into a werewolf from not having had the wolfsbane potion administered to him. Hermione saves their past selves by luring Lupin toward them, and before they are attacked, Buckbeak rushes in to save them.

They also encounter Harry's past self trying to fight Dementors while protecting Sirius Black, and Harry successfully conjures a patronus to chase them off.

The Goblet of Fire

Harry sneaks out in the dead of night to meet up with Hagrid, who is eager to tell him about the first challenge in the Triwizard Tournament, but fails to tell Harry that he originally planned it as a date with the headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy, mme. Olympe. Hiding in the bushes under his invisibility cloak, Harry watches as Charlie Weasley and a team of other dragon-handlers move cages of the angered beasts to the tournament grounds.

Viktor Krum later gets to talk to Harry in the forest concerning issues with Hermione, whom Krum likes. They meet Crouch Senior raving about Voldemort returning, and Crouch Junior, disguised as Professor Moody, comes in and knocks Krum unconscious and then kills his father.

The Order of the Phoenix

The Care of Magical Creatures class ventures into a dark and secluded part of the forest to learn about thestrals, creatures with an unlucky reputation that are only able to be seen by people who've witnessed death. Later, Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge, believing Harry to have access to a weapon Dumbledore left at Hogwarts, takes Harry and Hermione into the forest to force a confession out of them and possibly torture them out of sight. But Harry's plan was for the centaurs to come and carry Umbridge away, which they do, after the notoriously racist Ministry employee calls them mongrels.

From that point, they meet up with Ron, Ginny, Neville and Luna to plan a way into the Ministry of Magic, which Luna devises by calling thestrals and riding them to London.

The Half-blood Prince

Aragog is smuggled out of the forest by Hagrid before his family can attempt to eat him. After his rather bizarre funeral, he is buried near the forest in the plot of land that Hagrid's hut sits on.

The Deathly Hallows

The Death Eaters break into the Forest and drive out the Acromantulas, causing them to stampede towards the castle. It becomes their base of operations in their assault against the school along with some of their werewolf and giant allies. Then, it becomes the scene of Harry's sacrifice with Voldemort and his resurrection. Harry drops the Resurrection Stone in the forest and it remains there to this day.

Known Inhabitants

  • A colony of Acromantulas, once led by Aragog.
  • Herds of unicorns, thestrals and hippogriffs.
  • A pack of wolves descended from werewolves.
  • Fluffy the three-headed dog.
  • Grawp the giant.
  • Forest trolls
  • Bowtruckles
  • Blood-Sucking Bugbears (possibly)
  • A colony of centaurs.
  • The Weasley's flying Ford Anglia.
  • Nonmagical creatures such as deer.

Trivia

  • Authoress J.K. Rowling has stated in "J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life" that the forest is her favorite part of Hogwarts, which would explain why the main characters are sent many times there except Half-Blood Prince.
  • The real-life location of the school and forest is said to be near Dufftown.
  • The first two Harry Potter movies have also called it the "Dark Forest".
  • According to the WOMBAT test, it was rumored that the forest originally started out quite small and was tended to by centaurs; if true, this would explain why the centaurs guard the forest so fiercely and claim ownership over it.

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