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Peeves Character Analysis: Hogwarts Poltergeist

Peeves Character Analysis: Hogwarts Poltergeist

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Peeves is the playful and troublesome poltergeist that has inhabited Hogwarts since it opened in 993.

He enjoys making mischief and playing with the school’s inhabitants and is especially fond of annoying Argus Filch.

But he was loyal to the school and would defend it when it mattered.

About Peeves

BornPre-993
Blood StatusPoltergeist
OccupationMischief
PatronusNA
HouseNA
WandNA
Zodiac SignCapricorn (speculative)

Peeves Biography

Peeves the poltergeist started inhabiting Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when it was founded in 993.

Some said that he “came with the building”, and indeed he may have been created by the concentrated magic of the place.

It has also been suggested that he is the tangible manifestation of mischief of the many Hogwarts students.

Peeves’ personal mission seems to have been to make life difficult for the inhabitants of the school.

He always particularly enjoyed annoying the school’s caretaker, starting with the very first of them, Hankerton Humble.

Over the years, various caretakers tried to remove Peeves from the castle. In 1876 caretaker Rancorous Carpe devised an elaborate trap to contain the poltergeist using weapons as bait.

But rather than catch Peeves, the castle had to be evacuated for a few days while Peeves amused himself by threatening to kill students with the arms.

In the end, Headmistress Eupraxia Mole had to sign an agreement with Peeves granting him certain privileges to get him to return the weapons.

These included a weekly swim in the boys’ toilets and the first choice of stale bread from the kitchens for throwing.

By the 1990s, the only people who could control Peeves were Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and the Slytherin ghost, the Bloody Baron.

Peeves seems to have been afraid of the Baron, but it is unclear why. Harry Potter, under his invisibility cloak, was even able to impersonate the Baron to scare and control Peeves.

The house ghosts would often discuss whether Peeves should be permitted to attend events, such as the start of term feast, knowing that he would make trouble.

Peeves and Harry Potter Timeline

1991/2

Harry Potter encountered Peeves shortly after arriving at Hogwarts. He saw the poltergeist tormenting Percy Weasley.

Recently made prefect, Percy took himself very seriously, so he became an obvious target for the mischievous poltergeist.

Peeves was also writing rude words on a classroom blackboard when Minerva McGonagall surprisingly nominated Harry to be the new Gryffindor Seeker.

When Peeves caught Harry, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Neville Longbottom out of bed in their first year, he raised the alarm.

Not because he was concerned with the breaking of school rules, but to make trouble for the group.

1992/3

While the ghosts often complained about Peeves, they also knew how to use them.

In Harry’s second year, Nearly Headless Nick convinced Peeves to destroy a Vanishing Cabinet to create a distraction and get Harry out of trouble with Argus Filch.

Nick even invited Peeves to his Death Day party that year.

Peeves again raised the alarm when Justin Finish-Fletchley and Nearly Headless Nick were found petrified by Slytherin’s monster.

At this time, many in the school suspected that Harry was involved. Peeves also made up a song and dance to taunt him about this.

1993/4

Other teachers also knew how to manage Peeves. In Harry’s third year, Peeves was taunting the new Professor Lupin and stuffing bubble-gum in keyholes.

Lupin asked him to remove the gum, but Peeves ignored him. The professor cast a spell to shove the gum up Peeves’ nose.

In the same year, it was Peeves who revealed the location of the Fat Lady when she was hiding after being attacked by Sirius Black.

1994/5

In Harry’s fourth year, Peeves welcomed the arriving students with water bombs.

Consequently, the ghost council forbade him from attending the start of year feast. So, instead, he made a lot of trouble for the house-elves down in the kitchens.

When Harry was practicing summoning charms with Hermione for the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, Peeves arrived and started throwing this at Harry, saying that he thought that was what Harry wanted.

When Argus Filch found Harry’s Triwizard Egg in the corridor, he assumed that Peeves had stolen it from one of the champions.

In fact, Harry was there under his invisibility cloak and had dropped the egg.

1995/6

This year, the Ministry of Magic called Harry a liar, and Dolores Umbridge arrived to monitor the school. Peeves joined in the taunting of Harry.

Oh, most think he’s barking, the Potty wee lad, but some are more kindly and think he’s just sad, but Peevesy knows better and says that he’s mad…

Peeves, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Peeves caught Harry, Ron, and Hermione after they had been speaking to Sirius Black in the fire and threw ink pellets at them.

He also tormented Ron Weasley while he was trying to decorate the Gryffindor Common Room as one of his prefect duties.

But Peeves also resented Umbridge’s interference at Hogwarts, and her disciplinary approach would have annoyed Peeves.

When Fred and George Weasley left the school after a final great plank, they told Peeves to continue to annoy Umbridge. This was an order that he took very seriously.

He was seen to juggle burning torches over students, to drop bags of tarantulas in the Great Hall, and lock Mrs Norris in a suit of armor.

This was the first time that staff encouraged Peeves in his activities. Professor McGonagall even let him know when he was trying to unscrew a chandelier the wrong way.

When Umbridge finally left the school, McGonagall let Peeves use her walking stick to chase the witch off the premises.

1996/7

When Peeves overheard Harry asking Luna Lovegood to attend Horace Slughorn’s Christmas party with him, this just gave Peeves more ammunition to taunt Harry and “Loony”.

Peeves also took great pleasure in watching Dobby and Kreacher fight.

He egged on the pair and threw chalk at them. Harry had to use a Langlock curse on Peeves to get him to stop taunting the pair of house elves.

1997/8

Peeves participated in the defense of the castle during the Battle of Hogwarts.

He created chaos in the Death Eater ranks, swooping over their heads and dropping Snargaluff pods on them.

He did nothing to distract the defenders of Hogwarts and flew among them, singing a victory song in the aftermath of the battle.

Peeves the Poltergeist

What separates poltergeists from ghosts is that they can take physical form, but they can also become invisible or ghostly at will.

Peeves took the appearance of a wicked little man with orange eyes and in the clothing of a court jester.

He could fly and pass through solid walls, but he could also manipulate things in the physical world.

Peeves Personality Type & Traits

Peeves thrived on trouble and chaos and had no limits regarding the chaos and trouble he would cause.

This seems to show a complete lack of empathy, but Peeves was not without principles.

He was loyal to Hogwarts and defended it against Dolores Umbridge, and during the Battle of the Seven Potters.

Peeves Zodiac Sign & Birthday

We know very little about the birth of Peeves, and if he really is a manifestation of student mischief, he may not have a birthday.

But his personality suggests that his zodiac sign could be Capricorn.

While usually a serious sign, they can go to the other extreme. Rather than living by a strict set of rules, they can lack all limits.