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Argus Filch Character Analysis: Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

Argus Filch Character Analysis: Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

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Argus Filch is a squib and the caretaker at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since the 1960s. He is very keen to catch students breaking school rules and believes in harsh punishments. He has a secret desire to learn magic himself.

About Argus Filch

BornPre 1951
Blood StatusSquib
Zodiac SignAries (speculative)

Argus Filch Early Life

Argus Filch is a squib, meaning that he is a non-magical child born into a magical family. Unlike many squibs, he does not seem to have been raised to live in the Muggle world. Instead, he remained among wizarding kind. He founds a post for himself as the caretaker at Hogwarts in the 1960s.

He succeeded Apollyon Pringle as caretaker, and it was immediately apparent that he disliked the students. He would always try and catch them doing the wrong thing and try and convince the headmaster to let him dish out harsh punishments.

I bet you’ll think twice about breaking a school rule again, won’t you, eh? Oh, yes… hard work and pain are the best teachers if you ask me… It’s just a pity they let the old punishments die out… hang you by your wrists from the ceiling for a few days. I’ve got the chains still in my office, keep ‘em well oiled in case they’re ever needed….

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

By the end of the 1970s, Filch had already filled at lest one thousand and fifty-six boxes with punishment records. His only greater nemesis at the school is Peeves the poltergeist. Peeves is constantly making trouble and mess that he needs to clean up.

Part of his resentment to the students may be that he himself wished that he had magical abilities. In his second year, Harry discovered that Filch had a Kwikspell course hidden in his office

Thanks to his time wandering the castle, he knew more about the castle and its secret passageways than anyone, with the exceptions of the Weasley Twins, the Marauders (James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew), and later Harry.

Argus Filch and Harry Potter

Filch quickly identified Harry Potter and Ron Weasley as potential troublemakers. He has had experiences with James Potter and the Weasley Twins in the past. On their second day of school, he found the pair trying to enter an out-of-bounds corridor and was suspicious of them ever since.

Filch was very good at tracking students. For example, when Harry used his invisibility cloak to access the restricted section of the library in his first year, Filch was quickly on site. How he was so knowledgeable about what was going on at Hogwarts is unclear. But he did have the help of his cat Mrs Norris, with who he seemed able to communicate.

We know that he had various other tasks. In that same year, Filch helped Professor Snape dress a wound that he had received from Fluffy. When Harry and Hermione were caught on the Astronomy Tower, Filch organized for the pair to have detention, with Draco Malfoy, in the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid.

Filch and Mrs Norris

In the 1992/1993 school year, Filch’s cat Mrs Norris was the first resident of Hogwarts to be petrified by Slytherin’s monster. He was very distressed when he discovered what had happened. Since Harry was the one who discovered her first, Filch quickly jumped to the conclusion that it was Harry who had attacked her.

The attacker left a note on the wall referencing Slytherin’s heir. Filch complained that Mrs Norris had been targeted because he was a Squib.

After the attack, Filch often paced the corridor near where it had happened with the hope of discovering the culprit. He even put a chair there so that he could keep an eye on what was happening. He also tried to clean the message off the wall using Mrs Skower’s All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover, but to no avail.

Eventually, the heir was revealed and the monster destroyed. Everyone who had been petrified, including Mrs Norris, was restored. Filch attended the end-of-year feast, reunited with his beloved cat.

Argus Filch and the Chamber of Secrets

Filch and Hogsmeade

Third year students at Hogwarts are allowed to visit Hogsmeade on certain weekends. Filch ensures that only authorized students join the trip. Younger students often try to sneak out.

Harry was able to sneak out under his nose because he came into possession of the Marauders Map. He had actually confiscated the map from James Potter and his friends years earlier, but since he was not a wizard, he could not reveal the secrets of the map. Fred and George Weasley then stole the map from Filch’s office in their first year, and later passed it to Harry.

Filch and the School Rules

The most memorable thing about Hogwarts in 1994-5 was the Triwizard Tournament, but Filch continued to work hard to maintain discipline.

My Filch, the caretaker, has asked me to tell you that the list of objects forbidden inside the castle has this year been extended to including Screaming Yo-Yos, Fanged Frisbees, and Ever-Bashing Boomerangs. The full list comprises some four hundred and thirty-seven items, I believe, and can be viewed in Mr Filch’s office, if anybody would like to check it.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Filch was responsible for giving the castle a deep clean ahead of the Triwizard Tournament, and also placed the Goblet of Fire in its place to receive nominations.

He was involved in a tense encounter with Harry Potter which almost saw Barty Crouch Jnr exposed. Harry was returning to the Gryffindor Common Room under the invisibility cloak when he got his foot stuck in a trick step. He dropped his Triwizard egg, which began to let out a wail, and he dropped the Marauder’s Map, open.

Filch assumed that it was Peeves up to no good when he arrived and saw the egg. However, when Snape arrived shortly after, he suspected Harry. Professor Moody also showed up shortly after, and he could see Harry thanks to his magical eye.

Snape was just about to pick up the Marauder’s map, which would have revealed Harry’s presence under the invisibility cloak but also the true identity of Mad-Eye Moody as Barty Crouch Jnr, when Moody, at a signal from Harry, snapped up the map and claimed that it was his.

Harry was able to escape punishment, but Crouch as Moody asked him if he could borrow the map, protecting his identity and letting him keep an eye on the happenings at the school.

Filch the Disciplinarian

Argus Filch was one of the few people happy at Hogwarts when Dolores Umbridge was sent by the Ministry as High Commissioner. She shared his views on punishing student and was willing to give Filch more of a free hand in disciplining troublemakers.

Yerse… I’ve been telling Dumbledore for years and years that he’s too soft on you all. You filthy little beasts would never have dropped Stink Pellets if you’d known I had it in my power to whip you raw, would you, now? Nobody would have thought of throwing Fanged Frisbees down the corridors if I could’ve strung you up by the ankles in my office, would they? But when Educational Decree Number Twenty-Nine comes in, Potter, I’ll be allowed to do them things… and she’s asked the Ministry to sign an order for the expulsion of Peeves… oh, things are going to be very different around here with her in charge.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Filch during the Umbridge Regime

Filch was happy to patrol student behavior for Umbridge. On one occasion, he burst in on Harry in the Owlery, who had been sending a message to Sirius, accusing him of placing a large order for Dung Bombs.

He also helped Umbridge to escort Trelawney out of her office when she was fired, though Dumbledore arrived in time to stop her from being thrown off the premises.

Filch banned the singing of the Slytherin chant “Weasley is Our King”, because it was becoming so prevalent in the halls that it was just irritating.

When Umbridge initiated the Inquisitorial Squad to keep an eye on other students, Filch was happy to help. He was part of the operation to catch the DA while they were using the Room of Requirement for training sessions.

Filch greatly enjoyed the liberty he enjoyed under Umbridge. But this was short-lived. The Weasley Twins and others made so much trouble that it was impossible for Filch to help Umbridge maintain order at the school, especially since the other teachers refused to help.

He had to chase down enchanted fireworks set off by the Weasley twins and fruitlessly tried to clean up the portable swamp that they set off on the fifth floor. Eventually, he had to ferry students across the swamp so that they could get to classes.

So many stink bombs were set off that students used bubblehead charms to get fresh air. Of course, Filch had no such luxury!

Nevertheless, Filch was the only person sad to see Umbridge go when she tried to sneak out the day before the end of term. He brought her luggage as she was chased out of the castle by Peeves.

Argus Filch and Dolores Umbridge

Filch During the Second Wizarding War

When the return of Lord Voldemort was exposed in the summer of 1996, more stringent security measures were introduced at Hogwarts. For example, Filch searched all students upon arrival. He used secrecy sensors to check bags and had to check all owls to prevent dangerous objects from entering the school.

Filch also added all products from Weasleys’ wizard Wheezes, the shop set up by Fred and George Weasley, to his list of banned items.

While Filch sometimes seemed like a bully, he was also tormented by the students. Harry himself used the Langlock spell on Filch several times, gluing his tongue to the top of his mouth to the amusement of others.

Like most of the staff, Filch continued at Hogwarts after the death of Dumbledore while it was under Death Eater control. It is a bit surprising that they allowed Filch to continue there as a squib. He does seem to have lost his responsibility for dishing out punishments, as this was given to the Carrows.

But when the final battle came, Filch fought to defend Hogwarts. He helped usher underage students to safety via the secret passage in the Room of Requirement. Filch then participated in the fighting. What exactly he did is unclear. He may have helped the wounded and shown battling wizards to secret passageways.

When the battle was done and won, Filch was the first person to start sweeping up while everyone else was celebrating. He presumably continued to work at Hogwarts after the end of the war.

Argus Filch and the Battle of Hogwarts

Argus Filch Personality Type & Traits

Filch comes across as angry and resentful. Born a squib, he desperately wants to be able to learn magic. Since this is impossible, he resents the students learning magic at Hogwarts. This manifests in an abuse of power, looking for opportunities to punish students for even the smallest infractions.

However, it is worth noting that Filch probably overcame a very difficult childhood and early life. Squibs are usually outcasts in the wizarding community. Many are taught to live among Muggles. But Filch chose to live in the heart of the magical world.

He clearly saw Hogwarts as his home and loved it dearly. He was willing to risk his life to defend it during the Battle of Hogwarts, despite having no magical powers.

Argus Filch Zodiac Sign & Birthday

We do not know Filch’s birthday. But he must have been born before 1951 to have started working at Hogwarts in the late 1960s. Fans speculate that his zodiac sign may be Aries. These fire signs tend to have the kind of “no pain, no gain” attitude that Filch expresses in his approach to punishment.

People born under Aries are also single-minded and strong-willed. It is clear that Filch needed both of these things to build a life for himself in the wizarding world.

Is Mrs Norris Filch’s Wife?

Filch has a very close relationship with his cat Mrs Norris. They seem to be able to communicate, since she alerts him when there are students out of bed. But she is not his wife, or she would be Mrs Filch.

The students at Hogwarts speculated that there was some kind of romantic connection between Filch and Mrs Pince, the Librarian. The two did attend a Valentine’s Ball at Hogwarts together in 1989.

Argus Filch and Mrs Norris

Is Argus Filch Bad?

Argus Filch is not bad in the sense that he is a Death Eater. He fought to protect Hogwarts against Lord Voldemort. But Filch does not like the students at Hogwarts and that he would enjoy inflicting pain on them, if he were allowed to do so.

This is probably less to do with being “bad” and more to do with trauma. As a squib, he would have been very aware that a lack of magical ability made him very different to his family and the people around him. He longed to learn magic. Filch wanted to accepted as a full member of the wizarding community. His disappointment manifested as resentment.

Can Squibs Learn Magic?

Just like muggles, squibs are born without magic, but they are born in the wizarding world. Squibs know about magic, but are unable to do magic themselves. Filch is not the only squib to try and teach himself magic, but it is not possible.

Why was Filch allowed to work at Hogwarts?

Filch does not seem to be the most obvious choice to be a caretaker at a magical school. He would not be able to use magic to help him on the job. It seems that Dumbledore created a job for Filch at the school to give him a safe place within the wizarding world.

He similarly made the kitchens at Hogwarts a safe place for house-elves to work. At Hogwarts they received fair treatment rather than the abuse they receive in some wizarding homes.