Pukwudgies are enchanted entities dwelling within wooded and swampy regions, recognized as embodiments of forest spirits.
Pukwudgies, which had a grey complexion and were small in stature, possessed prominent ears. These beings were distantly linked to European goblins and had a reputation for both aiding and playing pranks on humans. Pukwudgies employed their toxic arrows for hunting purposes.
Power, Abilities & Behaviour
Pukwudgies were known for their strong sense of self-reliance. They derived pleasure from both hunting and playing pranks on humans. They didn’t particularly hold humans, whether magical or non-magical, in high regard. These beings were exceedingly covert and hazardous, and they adhered to a tradition of not disclosing their real names to outsiders.
As exemplified by William’s case (character in Harry Potter), Pukwudgies felt obligated to the individual who rescued them, despite their dislike for it. They also felt compelled to remain in their service until they had repaid the debt. William was especially distressed about it, as it went against the Pukwudgie’s convictions of aiding humans.
Furthermore, Pukwudgies could be quite cantankerous and grumbled about various tasks, even if they actually desired to do them. For instance, those who worked at Ilvermorny would frequently express their disinterest in being there, yet they would happily show up every year to perform their duties.
The Pukwudgies held their customs in high regard, as evidenced by William’s outburst when Isolt requested that he disregard tradition and assist humans. Although he considered Isolt an exemption due to her saving him, he declined to help the injured Webster and Chadwick and chose to overlook them. Pukwudgies used to despise humans, but they have become more lenient in their views over time.
The Pukwudgies were not afraid to display ingratitude and viewed it as demeaning if the individual they were indebted to behaved foolishly. Despite this, they remained in their service.
These beings were also cautious and distrustful of certain things, such as the Horned Serpent. However, they were intelligent, as demonstrated by William’s vast knowledge of the land and its inhabitants. They were also skilled in crafting their weapons and possessed their own magical abilities. Pukwudgies were known to be fiercely devoted and defensive of what they held dear.
It remains unclear how long Pukwudgies could live, but some at Ilvermorny claimed that William continued to work at the school despite being over three hundred years old.
Pukwudgie Story From Harry Potter Series
In 1620, Isolt Sayre rescued a Pukwudgie from being devoured by a Hidebehind. She cared for the creature until it recovered, and it pledged its loyalty and indebtedness to her until it could repay her kindness. Despite the Pukwudgie’s ungrateful attitude and grumbling, Isolt cherished its companionship, and their relationship evolved into a remarkable friendship.
Because he adhered to the custom of not disclosing his real name, Isolt bestowed the moniker William upon the Pukwudgie. During their time together, William familiarized Isolt with many of the indigenous creatures, including the Hodag, Snallygaster, and Wampus cat.
One day, William was taken aback when he discovered that Isolt had formed a bond with the Horned Serpent, a creature that he regarded with suspicion. Isolt understood the Horned Serpent’s language, and William was wary of her relationship with the creature. Consequently, she refrained from discussing it with William to avoid creating any tension between them.
William heard a noise while they were scavenging in the forest, and he advised Isolt to stay hidden while he went to investigate. However, Isolt disregarded his advice and followed him to a dreadful sight where the Hidebehind had killed a wizard, a witch, and injured their children Chadwick and Webster. Isolt and William cooperated to defeat the Hidebehind, but William refused to assist Isolt in nursing the wounded humans back to health, citing the Pukwudgie belief that they should not help mankind. As a result, they had a disagreement which caused them to part ways.
After a decade, Isolt and William had a reunion when Isolt and her family were attacked by her evil aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt, who intended to murder them. In a moment of terror, Isolt called out for her father, but William arrived instead, having mistaken her call for his name. He used one of his lethal arrows tipped with Pukwudgie venom to vanquish Gormlaith, whose dark magic had a disastrous reaction to the poison. William’s contribution to the founding of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry made him well-known, and James Steward chose to honor him by naming one of the school’s houses after him – the Pukwudgie House, which was inspired by the stories that Isolt had shared about him.
Upon meeting William, James greeted him warmly and praised him for his accomplishments, which pleased William. The following day, William relocated his family to the house and became the first Pukwudgies to live and serve at Ilvermorny, offering security and maintenance services for the school in exchange for payment in gold. Despite expressing their discontentment and desire to leave, Pukwudgies continued to appear every year to fulfill their duties. A legend circulated among the school’s community that an elderly Pukwudgie named William might have been Isolt’s companion. This William refused to allow anyone else to clean Isolt’s marble statue at the entrance and left mayflowers there annually on the anniversary of her death. When asked if he was the original William, he laughed it off, stating that he would have to be over three hundred years old, but since he didn’t deny the claim, the rumor continued to circulate.
Pukwudgies House (Harry Potter)
One of the Ilvermorny houses was named after Pukwudgies, underscoring their renown. The honor was bestowed due to the bond between Isolt Sayre and a Pukwudgie named William, which endured for a long time. Even after Isolt’s era, Pukwudgies were engaged at Ilvermorny to carry out security and upkeep duties. Pukwudgie House was occasionally associated with symbolizing the core of a magic user, and it was believed that Pukwudgies had a preference for healers.
William – A Pukwudgie Character From Harry Potter
Isolt Sayre saved a Pukwudgie from a Hidebehind and took care of him until he recovered. Despite his reluctance to disclose his actual name, Isolt nicknamed him after her deceased father, and the two developed a bond and became friends. This Pukwudgie was William, who Isolt had helped, and he did not reveal his original name to her.
Pukwudgie Folklore Of Native Americans
The Pukwudgie is a legendary creature that features in the mythology of several Native American tribes, such as the Wampanoag. It is typically depicted as being two or three feet tall, human-like in shape, but with larger nose, ears, and fingers, and smooth, grey skin that may sometimes emit a glow. It also has a thick head of hair that resembles a porcupine’s. The Pukwudgie possesses magical powers, such as the ability to vanish and reappear, transform partially or completely into a porcupine or cougar, and even create fire.
According to legends in the Wampanoag folklore, Pukwudgies are believed to be the adversaries of the culture heroes Maushop and Granny Squannit. One tale suggests that the Pukwudgies became jealous of the attention and admiration that the Natives showed to Maushop, so they began to cause chaos and mischief. As a result, Maushop exiled them to different regions of North America. Since then, the Pukwudgies have held a grudge against humans and sought revenge by murdering Maushop’s five sons, and in some variations, even Maushop himself.
The Pukwudgie tradition of not divulging one’s true name is similar to the Celtic folklore about fairies, where knowing a fairy’s name gave one power over them and the ability to curse them. This belief likely influenced the European fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin, where the protagonist must guess the name of a malevolent fairy to save herself from his curse.
Although in the Harry Potter universe, Pukwudgies are described as being distantly related to European goblins, their depiction in the series differs from their real-life Native American folklore origins. J.K. Rowling has faced criticism for her appropriation and interpretation of Native American folklore for her franchise.