Fenrir Greyback was a werewolf famous for attacking children and his savage behavior. His goal as a werewolf was to get other werewolves on his side and infect as many people as possible to build a werewolf army.
He allied himself with Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters during the Second Wizarding War. He was present at the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, which resulted in the death of Albus Dumbledore and the permanent disfigurement of Bill Weasley.
He served as a snatcher, catching those who had fled once Voldemort took control of the Ministry of Magic and fought in the final Battle of Hogwarts.
Fenrir Greyback Quick Facts
|None (but I vote “Eww”)
|Death Date [if applicable]
|Age When Series Starts
|Partner / Spouse
|Most Memorable Moment
|Being a generally detestable creature biting children
|Pure or half-blood
|Unknown, but probably Slytherin
|Actors Who Played
|July 10, 2023
Fenrir Greyback Birthplace
Fenrir was born in Great Britain.
Fenrir Greyback Parents
We know nothing about his parents, although I’m sure they were horrified when they found out their son had originally been bitten. I have no doubt that over the coming years, they became those parents who gradually learned to fear their son and left him alone in his bedroom with a locked door more often than not.
Fenrir Greyback’s Physical Traits
Fenrir Greyback was a large man with an animalistic appearance. Even though he didn’t really change into a werewolf in the book or movies, he always had matted hair with whiskers, long yellow nails, and pointed teeth that made him look like an inbred wolf.
He was also fairly “fat strong” because his robes were constantly stretched to capacity.
Fenrir Greyback Personality
Fenrir is an odd representation of every trait that can lead to an inhumane existence: he preys on children, he likes to attack his own people, he eats people, he enjoys causing pain, he takes more pride in instances where he can do all of the above at once.
If he existed in modern times, he would be the worst type of serial killer. In addition to his lack of humanity and sadism, he seemed like an unloved child at his core, greedy, always looking out for himself, and all too aware that no one else respected or loved him.
There is also a huge psychological lunch pail of issues involving his desire to bite young children and raise them that I don’t feel like unpacking right now.
No doubt he had a lot of issues about never fitting in, and that led to pent-up anger and hate, which turned out to be the only forms of existence and “love” he knew how to show–which is why he wanted to “raise” children like a father and “teach them” to hate.
Michael Jackson hanging his child over a raising comes to mind right now.
Fenrir Greyback Hogwarts Years
Fenrir decided to join Voldemort after promises that Voldemort would provide better circumstances and treatment for werewolves than the Wizards had done.
Almost immediately, he was involved in several terrorist attacks and kidnappings, like the raid on Diagon Alley, Ollivander’s kidnapping, and the Millennium Bridge’s destruction.
When certain individuals refused to cooperate with Voldemort, Fenrir was sent in as the enforcer and attacked children as young as five.
It seemed to be around this time that Fenrir went off his Milk Bone and started attacking people while in his human form, although he is always depicted in a semi-transformed and Incredibly ugly state in the films.
The first time he is seen with the Death Eaters and not just doing their errands is at the Astronomy Tower. He shows up with several other members mocking Dumbledore and urging Draco Malfoy to kill him.
When Draco hesitates, Fenrir tries to take over. After Dumbledore’s death, Fenrir continued to assault other members of Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix, successfully scaring Bill Weasley. I’d like to hope that he was sent to Azkaban along with the others at this interval, not that it mattered much because they were released one month later.
Fenrir apparently needed study employment, so he became a snatcher, capturing people who had tried to escape persecution. He tracked down people like Ted Tonks and Dean Thomas before eventually nabbing Hermione, Ron, and Harry.
He was eager for the 200,000 Galleon reward and to bite Hermione, but he didn’t get any of that. Instead, he got stunned and punished for letting them escape.
When the final Battle of Hogwarts began, Fenrir was there to continue being a git, sneaking around and dueling in between human snack breaks. He was responsible for the death of Lavender Brown, the sight of which led Ron and Neville to take him down.
We never did learn what happened to him, whether he was killed in the battle or sent to prison but seeing as he represents a magical sort of pedophile who preys on children and Jeffrey Dahmer, I’d like to hope that he died and wet himself when it happened.
Fenrir Greyback Family
We don’t know anything about his family, although I like to imagine that he was bitten early in his youth, like most of them, and during his teenage years, he exercised his angst by circling the rug in his bedroom three times before curling up in a ball and draping his tail over his eyes.
I’d also like to hope that after breaking curfew several times on the full moon and returning with bloody laundry he casually dropped on the hallway floor for his mother to pick up, he was kicked out of the house, but I have a gut feeling he probably killed the parents who complained about the laundry and the curfew and kept the house.
Later in his life, when he joined the dark side, he seemed to like that kid who was abused and Abandoned and eventually left to the foster care system, the kid who swears they are fully independent and don’t need anyone but secretly aligns themselves with other bullies in hopes of being accepted and having a second family.
He thought of himself as equal to the Malfoys and other Death Eaters, which, for him, was like a family and was like respect, but in the end, he was still discriminated against, and they did not treat him as an equal.
Fenrir Greyback Magical Abilities and Special Skills
Unfortunately, like many of the modern bad guys, they aren’t without their skills.
Fenrir Greyback duels other wizards at several intervals in the final book and film. At Malfoy Manor, he fires offensive spells at Ron and Harry, and he is shown dueling Neville and Ron in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Even though it doesn’t directly say it, he was a snatcher for quite some time, and during that particular piece of his, he probably had to rely not just on his pouncing skills but on his rusty wizarding skills to duel and capture the witches and wizards he exchanged for money.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who rooted for Bellatrix just once when she put him in his place at Malfoy Manor. Apparently, she was the only one strong enough, but now and again, a bully needs to be bullied, so go, Bellatrix!
Like many of the adults who left Hogwarts, Fenrir was able to cast nonverbal spells, especially while dueling, making him, I hate to admit it, somewhat accomplished.
I can’t picture Fenrir-the-boy-dog saving up his allowance and eagerly approaching the Great Hall on Saturdays, but at some point, he learned how to apparate because he does it all the time when snatching and traveling to and from Malfoy Manor.
He was skilled in dark arts, particularly casting some of the unforgivable curses and handling cursed objects. As Bellatrix pointed out to Harry Potter, you have to really mean it when you use those curses, or they won’t work.
So I wouldn’t necessarily categorize his ability to use them regularly as a special skill unless you count being emotionally dead inside as a skill.
Regarding special skills, Fenrir Greyback has intimidating strength; it took three stunning spells to even make a mark on him at Malfoy Manor. I assume part of his change resulted in a hirsute complexion and thick skin (so that when kids called him ‘ugly’, it wouldn’t hurt as much).
Fenrir Greyback Wand
We never learn what type of wand he had before he was changed, but since he became a werewolf later in life, he probably got his wand at Ollivanders as a kid.
Sure, he might gnaw on it like a poorly trained puppy from time to time, but I’m willing to bet money that once he changed and realized he had a taste for being a psychopath, he didn’t use it outside of duels.
Fenrir Greyback Trivia and Fun Facts
When Fenrir meets Albus Dumbledore at the Astronomy Tower, Dumbledore points out that Fenrir has developed a taste for human flesh that isn’t satisfied once per month.
This gave me pause in adulthood because it implies that all werewolves don’t just bite their victims once per month or come home after taking down a village goat. It means that werewolves in the world of Harry Potter are much more vicious than I originally thought: they, once per month, eat humans, not just bite them.
Fenrir was the werewolf who infected Remus Lupin in retaliation for Remus’ father making a disparaging remark about werewolves. He was also responsible for attacking Bill Weasley, leaving him permanently disfigured, and killing Lavender Brown.
Voldemort would never give Fenrir or any of the other werewolves the dark mark, indicative of the fact that they were never truly accepted among the Dark Lord’s followers.
While we have no idea what happened to the character after the great war, the actor who played him was found dead in 2014 after hiking in Death Valley National Park.
Fenrir Greyback Appearances in Books
Fenrir Greyback appears in the following books:
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Fenrir Greyback Appearances in Films
Fenrir Greyback appears in the following films:
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Fenrir Greyback Quotes
Albus Dumbledore meeting Fenrir at the top of the Astronomy Tower:
Albus Dumbledore: “Is it you, Fenrir?”
Fenrir Greyback: “Yes. Pleased to see me, Albus?”
Albus Dumbledore: “No, I cannot say that I am… Am I to take it that you are attacking even without the full moon now? This is most unusual… You have developed a taste for human flesh that cannot be satisfied once a month?”
Fenrir, having captured the trio in the woods, preparing to transport them to Malfoy Manor:
“A Weasley? So you’re related to blood traitors even if you’re not a Mudblood. And lastly, your pretty little friend… I’m not going to bite just yet. We’ll see if she’s a bit quicker at remembering her name than Barny. Who are you, girly?”
“Reckon she’ll let me have a bit of the girl when she’s finished with her? I’d say I’ll get a bite or two, wouldn’t you, ginger?”
Fenrir killing Lavender Brown during the final Battle of Hogwarts:
“Two bodies fell from the balcony overhead. As they reached the ground, a gray blur that Harry took for an animal sped four-legged across the hall to sink its teeth into one of the fallen. ‘NO!’ shrieked Hermione, and with a deafening blast from her wand, Fenrir Greyback was thrown backward from the feebly struggling body of Lavender Brown. He hit the marble banisters and struggled to return to his feet. Then, with a bright white flash and a crack, a crystal ball fell on top of his head, and he crumpled to the ground and did not move.”\
Answer: It’s never disclosed who originally bit him, but it must have been a traumatic experience because of the fact that it led him to seek a life where his only goal was infecting more people and creating a werewolf army.
Answer: Fenrir likely swiped him with his hand and long claws. Because it was not a full moon, Bill could not be infected and converted into a werewolf, but his wounds were still cursed, which is why they never healed. It’s the same reason his brother George’s ear would never regrow because it was cursed off.
Answer: Fenrir takes on a wolfish appearance even in his human state. It is argued that people like Remus never let their lycanthropy take full control of their lives and instead controlled it, and that’s why Remus looks like a regular human except on the full moon when he changes into a wolf.
By comparison, Fenrir has allowed his disease to take over his entire body resulting in a hybrid and disgusting appearance.
IMDB. Harry Potter Full Cast. https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0926084/fullcredits/cast
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.
Dave Legeno, ‘Harry Potter’ films’ Fenrir Greyback, found dead at 50