The Harry Potter movies really work as thrilling adaptations of the novels. They’re mostly very faithful takes but, of course, not every detail of Harry Potter could make it to the big screen as part of the best fantasy movies in the series. Crucially, that saved the Harry Potter cast from having to confront the most terrifying beast in the Wizarding World.
We’re talking, of course, about Blast-Ended Skrewts. If you’ve never read the Potter books and just stuck to watching the Harry Potter movies in order, then we’re sorry for what you’re about to learn. These things are nothing short of horrific.
Introduced in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Skrewts were created by Hagrid, of course. We love him and he might be one of the best Harry Potter characters, but he has some questionable interests. I mean, there are laws against experimental magical breeding and it seems like the existence of the Skrewts would break all of them.
Hagrid made them by cross-breeding Manticores and Fire Crabs, which are both terrifying magical fauna in their own right. Manticores are half-lion and half-scorpion. Fortunately, they’re as rare as they are dangerous. Fire Crabs, meanwhile, are tortoise-sized creatures often exported as magical pets. When threatened, they can shoot fire from their rear ends.
It’s not clear how Hagrid combined these critters – and frankly we don’t want to think about it – but the result is horrifying. Given the Skrewts did not appear in the movies, we never got to see what they might look like. But the Universal Studios Orlando ride Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure can give us some idea…
Oh my goodness, pure nightmare fuel. Adult Skrewts resembled giant scorpions with enormous stingers and armor capable of repelling most of the best Harry Potter spells. They could also shoot fire from their rear end, either as a defense mechanism or to help propel themselves forward. Formidable beasties, for sure.
There’s no doubt that there are some seriously shocking creatures in the Potter movies – the gargantuan mountain troll, Fluffy the three-headed dog, Aragog and his spider buddies, the Dementors – but the Skrewt is on a whole other level.
With all of that in mind, it’s shocking that Goblet of Fire features a group of teenagers being asked to care for around a hundred juvenile Skrewts. Hagrid tasked his students with feeding the young critters, as well as taking them on walks to stop them killing each other. Not quite how our schooldays played out, but Hogwarts is different.
By the end of Goblet of Fire, a fully-grown Skrewt – 10 feet long! – was one of the dangers encountered by Harry in the maze during the final task of the Triwizard Tournament. Unfortunately, this sequence was drastically altered for the 2005 movie version, with the magical creatures left on the cutting room floor.
We never got to see the pure terror of the Blast-Ended Skrewts on the big screen. They could easily have transformed Harry Potter into one of the best horror movies and, let’s face it, we’d all love to see such a unique and horrifying beast marauding on the big screen in the best movies of the series.
For more magical critters, check out what we know about the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date. You can also find out about the darker side of the Wizarding World with this secret ’70s horror movie reference in Harry Potter or learn about Voldemort and the best Harry Potter villains.
We’ve also rounded up everything we know about the possibility of new movies and TV series for Potter with the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date and the Harry Potter TV series release date.