Harry Potter: Squibs, Explained

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  • Squibs are non-magical humans born to at least one wizard parent and are a part of the Wizarding World.
  • Squibs can see magical creatures, enter places hidden from Muggles, and participate in wizard society.
  • Squibs challenge the bias against Muggles and may be the reason behind Muggle-born wizards.

The Harry Potter franchise is packed full of magical beings and fantastical creatures spilling into the Muggle world, from wizards, goblins, House-elves, and more. But the opposite is also true. While they aren’t often mentioned or expanded in the Harry Potter films, there are non-magical beings in the Wizarding World called Squibs. The term “Squib” is only used in the Harry Potter films once and is never really explained, but it is an interesting phenomenon in the series nonetheless.

The Harry Potter book series includes more information about Squibs and identifies more than one character as one. Squibs are rare and unusual and have sometimes suffered ridicule and discrimination within the wizard community. However, Squibs play an important role in the Harry Potter universe and may even be the reason behind Muggle-born wizards.

Updated by Florencia Aberastury on January 8, 2024: Squibs are important yet misunderstood people. We’ve updated this article to include more information and details about Squibs and the famous Squibs in the magical world of Harry Potter, as well as to bring this article up to current CBR standards.

Squibs Are Wizard-Born Muggles in Harry Potter

  • Squibs are born to at least one magical parent but have no magical power of their own.
  • Squibs can see ghosts and Dementors, unlike Muggles.
  • Squibs can also see and enter places that have Muggle-Repelling Charms to remain hidden from Muggles, like Hogwarts.


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So, what is a Squib? Squibs can basically be described as the opposite of Muggle-borns (wizards born to Muggle parents). Instead, Squibs are rare instances of non-magical humans born to wizard parents. Interestingly, only one parent has to be a wizard in order for the child to be considered a Squib. No matter the lineage, if one of the parents possesses magical abilities and they give birth to a child who does not, that child is a Squib. In the Wizarding World, a child with at least one wizard parent will show a sign of magical abilities at around 7 years old. And while there are cases of late-bloomers, if a child has no magical ability by that age, it is possible that they are a Squib.

There are a few important distinctions, however, between Squibs and regular Muggles. Firstly, Squibs are able to participate in and observe the Wizarding World in ways that do not require the active use of magic. Since they are born into the magical community, they are a part of the Wizarding World and must uphold the International Statue of Wizarding Secrecy, as well as any other Wizarding law. They can also see magical creatures and elements that Muggles do not notice, even if they can’t perform spells or charms. They can even have magical pets, just like Argus Filch has Mrs. Norris. ​As far as their participation in wizard society, Squibs are permitted to do many things wizards can do. There is sometimes a general disregard for them, and Squibs can suffer discrimination from elitist wizards. However, Squibs are allowed to reside on wizard turf and can even have jobs in the Wizarding World. This is the case of Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

There Are Several Notable Squib Characters in the Wizarding World

Mrs Figg walking down a tunnel in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  • Some Squibs mentioned in the Harry Potter books include Mr. Filch and Mrs. Figg.
  • There are other Squibs within the Harry Potter universe, including Dolores Umbridge’s brother and Gilderoy Lockhart’s two older sisters.


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One notable Squib character is Harry Potter’s neighbor, Mrs. Figg. Mrs. Figg is a great example of a Squib being able to participate in the Wizarding World, a privilege a regular Muggle would not get. Mrs. Figg is personally tasked by Dumbledore to keep an eye on Harry Potter, as she lives in Privet Drive as well. Throughout the years, Harry stays at Mrs. Figg’s house several times when the Dursleys leave town or have other commitments, something that isn’t mentioned in the film adaptations. Not only that, but she is also an active member of The Order of the Phoenix.

When Harry and his cousin Dudley are attacked by Dementors, Mrs. Figg finds them and helps them back to Privet Drive. Being a Squib, she was able to see and sense the Dementors, even if she didn’t have the magical ability to cast a Patronus charm. She is even called as a witness by the Ministry of Magic when Harry is on trial for using the Patronus charm in front of Muggles in an effort to ward off the aforementioned attack. And while many at the trial question whether Mrs. Figg can see the Dementors as a Squib, her description of the creatures and the sense of despair they leave behind is enough to convince them.

Mr. Filch and Neville Longbottom Have a Connection With the Word ‘Squib’

Neville Longbottom on the bridge before it gets blown up in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

  • Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, was also believed to be a Squib because she didn’t attend Hogwarts, and her family hid her from their neighbors. However, this was because Ariana was unable to control her magic.
  • Neville’s family tried to bring out his magical abilities many times when he was a child, including by dropping him off Blackpool pier.


Neville Longbottom’s Career Was Everything Harry Potter Deserved

Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter lived very similar lives. However, Neville’s choice of career was one that Harry deserved just as much.

As mentioned, another notable Squib character is the caretaker of Hogwarts, Argus Filch. A cranky old man, he mostly exists for comedic relief and occasionally as a plot device. However, it is clear that, despite having no magical abilities, he is important to the operation of Hogwarts. Being the caretaker, Mr. Filch is often the first person to notice the various conflicts and mishaps that occur within the halls of Hogwarts. Filch respects Dumbledore and has a love for rules, something that makes him unpopular with Hogwarts students. Harry Potter first finds out about Squibs — and that Mr. Filch is one — when he finds information regarding “Kwikspell,” a correspondence magic course that Mr. Filch was trying to take.

On the other hand, Neville Longbottom grew up with his family believing he was a Squib. He once explained that Neville’s family thought he had no magical abilities at all, to the disappointment of his overbearing grandmother. However, when his uncle “accidentally” dropped him from a window, Neville was able to bounce around and down the road, proving he had magical abilities after all. Yet, even up until the moment he received his letter from Hogwarts, his grandmother doubted Neville had enough magical abilities to study at the prestigious Wizarding School.

Squibs Challenge the Bias Some Wizards Have Against Muggles

  • Some believe Muggle-born wizards descend from Squibs who married Muggles and introduced the magical bloodline in the family.
  • The Ministry of Magic didn’t keep records of Squib births.


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Squibs are a unique facet of the world of Harry Potter. Most discussion about intermingling between wizards and Muggles comes from elitist wizards who regard any wizard with Muggle blood as inferior. It’s a major conflict in the plot. Voldemort’s entire life’s work was about controlling and eventually exterminating Muggles and Muggle-born wizards, even if he himself had a Muggle father. Voldemort and his followers believed that pure-blood Wizards were superior and should not mingle with nor care for Muggles.

It is interesting to see people who embody the reverse of the concept of Muggle-born wizards. Squibs are Muggles with wizard blood. The existence of Squibs brings into question the legitimacy of the arguments of the elitist wizards and makes one question the very nature of the Wizarding World itself. If a Muggle can be born to wizards, can any wizard bloodline be truly pure?

Harry Potter 8 Movie Collector's Edition featuring all movie art

Harry Potter

The Harry Potter franchise follows the adventure of a young boy introduced a whole new world of magic, mayhem and darkness. Traversing the obstacles in his path, young Harry’s rise to heroics pits him against Lord Voldemort, one of the most dangerous wizards in the world and all his minions.

Created by
J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Latest Film
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2

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Harry Potter , Voldemort

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Hogwarts Legacy , LEGO Harry Potter Collection , Harry Potter: Wizards Unite , Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells , Harry Potter: Magic Awakened , Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets , Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 , Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

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