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Despite having watched the Harry Potter films over a hundred times we STILL love finding out new facts and trivia from the series and on our recent visit the the Warner Brothers Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter we learnt something truly unique about the creation of Aragog.
Aragog features in the second film of the Wizarding World Saga, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and is a pet that was raised by the Hogwarts groundskeeper and friend to Harry, Rubeus Hagrid. On Hagrid’s advice, Harry and Ron voyage into the forest to speak to the eight legged beast and things soon turn treacherous for the pair!
During the making of the initial Harry Potter movies the directors and production tried to rely on CGI imagery as little as possible and so made full scale models and animatronics for the actors to work against on screen. Aragog was no exception and was the brainchild of the creature effects designer Nick dudman who worked on all eight of the Potter films in the series.
As well as creating Aragog for Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets, Nick Dudman also worked on the large basilisk seen at the ending of the film and a fan favourite, the house elf Dobby. While these two were a mix of working animatronic models and CGI Aragog was in fact all practical which is what makes it so chilling on screen.
Actor Rupert Grint who plays Ron suffers from terrible arachnophobia and was terrified of the model which was hidden from both himself and Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe before shooting the scene. The film-makers captured the first time the duo saw the giant 18 foot leg span spider on film and their genuine reactions are what was used in the final cut of the film.
But what did they make Aragog out of? The answer….yak hair and A LOT of coconut fibres! That’s right the giant terrifying spider was in fact covered in coconut fibres to mimic the hairs on a spider’s body and legs. The production department would apply these fibres and combine it with Yak hair and feathers to full realise Aragog in all his details. YUCK!
The production department did such a great job with the creatures of the Potter series and whenever we see this scene we still get the shivers. Even more so when you can see the ACTUAL Aragog model at the Harry Potter tour within a recreated Forbidden Forest set!
It’s amazing to find out how the magic was created but we are sure you will never be able to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets quite the same again!
Featured Image Credit: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Warner Brothers