Barring the giants and his half-brother Grawp, Hagrid is probably one of the tallest characters in the Harry Potter universe. He’s certainly one of the tallest major characters, and his height is often remarked upon – but how tall is he?
In the books, Hagrid is taller than he appears in the movies. The books describe him as being twice as tall as a human, and almost 5 times wider. In the movies, he is intended to be around 8 feet (2.44 meters) tall. Even that was an impressive achievement for the filmmakers, as Robbie Coltrane is only 6 foot 1 inch (1.85 meters).
It’s interesting to see how Hagrid had to be reimagined for the movies, and we’re going to find out more about how this worked. We’ll also check out a few fun facts about the beloved half-giant.
How Tall Is Hagrid ?
In the books, Hagrid is described as being twice as tall as a human. This probably makes him around 11 foot 4 inches (2.54 meters), assuming an average height of around 5 foot 8 inches (1.73 meters).
This is only a rough estimate, and if he’s twice as tall as a British man, he would be about 11 foot and 8 inches, since the average height for British men is 5 foot 10 inches (1.78 meters).
Either way, it’s safe to assume that Hagrid is around 11 or 12 feet tall in the books, which means he really towers over Harry and his friends, especially in their younger years.
In the films, he’s considerably shorter. This is probably partly for practical reasons. Although the actor, Robbie Coltrane, was a tall individual at 6 foot 1 inch, it would have been very difficult to make him look almost double that height.
The filmmakers still had a lot of work to do in making him look around 8 feet tall. They had him wearing platform shoes, and used a padded overcoat to make him appear bulky. His shoes added around 7 inches to his height.
They also used other techniques, like forced perspective and extra small props to make him look larger. Shots of Hagrid were usually taken from a low-down perspective to make him look taller, and shots from his point of view were taken from a high perspective, as though he was looking down on the world.
Green screens and blue screens were used extensively too. Robbie Coltrane could be shot separately from the other cast members, and then modified using CGI, before being added to the finished shot.
It also helps that he was often filmed alongside the young cast members, who obviously looked small compared with him. The filmmakers used a stunt actor with an animatronic head for long-distance shots, which worked amazingly well.
How Old is Hagrid?
Hagrid was born in 1928, which means that by the time Harry meets him for the first time, he’s around 62 or 63 years old. He would have been about 51 when Harry was first born, and possibly around 52 when he rescued Harry and delivered him to the Dursleys.
Some people have remarked that Hagrid seems immature for his age if this is accurate, but this may be due to some of the traumas he dealt with in his life. He lacks confidence, probably as a result of his expulsion from Hogwarts, and the ongoing mistrust and dislike he had to deal with as a half-giant.
He was abandoned by his mother, and his father died when he was only 12, which probably had a serious impact too.
It should be noted that Hagrid also had many qualities that set him apart from the other characters and demonstrated his maturity. His skill with beasts was unmatched, and had multiple mentions in the books, including his ability to deal with the centaurs, to handle the Beauxbatons’ horses, and to raise Aragog successfully at least for a time.
His apparent inability to assess danger might be partially due to his large size. The biting books he gave to students, his love of dragons, and his affection for other dangerous creatures could be at least partially because these creatures weren’t as dangerous to him, causing him to underestimate their danger to others.
Hagrid also showed a lot of sensitivity toward Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and was instrumental in healing breaks in their friendship on more than one occasion. He clearly does have emotional intelligence, as well as a superb understanding of animals.
Some people have suggested that Hagrid seems “slow” because he’s part giant. However, this theory doesn’t seem to hold much weight.
The only other part-giant in the series, Madame Maxime, is the head of a school, and seems highly educated and proficient in magic.
Additionally, Hagrid was educated at Hogwarts until his expulsion, which suggests he is just as capable of magic as other wizards. His ability to work as the groundskeeper at Hogwarts and his skill as a teacher – while not perfect – demonstrate that he is a perfectly capable person.
How Much Does Hagrid Weigh?
There are no official sources to tell us how much Hagrid weighs, unfortunately, so we can only guess. The estimates on this vary wildly, so let’s look at book-Hagrid first.
An 11 or 12 foot person would probably weigh at least 600 lb (272 kg), but remember that Hagrid is described as being almost 5 times as wide as a normal human. This might put his weight at approximately 1000 lb (454 kg).
This is only an estimate, of course, as it’s very hard to guess what Hagrid was supposed to weigh. It’s possible that giants are particularly heavy or particularly light in J. K. Rowling’s world, or that Hagrid really would be around 1000 lb.
Hagrid’s height is quite different in the books and the movies. In the books, he’s about twice as tall as a man, while in the movies, he’s around 8 feet tall. This discrepancy is probably partly due to the constraints of filming vs writing. Either way, Hagrid is depicted as a gentle giant, full of warmth and affection for the people he cares for.