Wyrd & Wonder – Top five unusual fantasy creatures

Inspired by these Fantasy Top Tens, this Wyrd & Wonder post is about unusual magical creatures. You could argue that every fantasy creature is unusual… But dragons can be found in a lot of books and movies. So they are clearly more common. In this post I will talk about the rarer creatures.

1. Thestrals in Harry Potter
Classification: XXX (competent wizard could cope)*

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

When writing this post, the first book series I thought of was Harry Potter. There are many amazing fantasy creatures in the series. One of my favourites is the thestral (but I also really like nifflers). These creatures are a type of black horses with bat wings. Thestrals are only visible for people who are “truly touched by death”. They may look frightening, but they are harmless and even gentle creatures. This contradiction and their connection with death make them fascinating creatures.

*the Ministry of Magic has classified them as dangerous, but I don’t agree

2. Mr. Kindly from Nevernight
Classification: XXXX (Dangerous / requires specialist knowledge / skilled wizard may handle)


Mr. Kindly is one of the few of its kind. He can be described as a shadow shaped like a cat. What this creature exactly is or where it came from is yet unknown. Mr. Kindly became Mia’s companion after her father was executed. He saved her life as a child and drinks away her fear when she is afraid.

3. The Panserbjørne in His Dark Materials
Classification: XXXX (Dangerous / requires specialist knowledge / skilled wizard may handle)

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1)

These creatures are a species of polar bears that are able to speak and have human intelligence. Their name is Norwegian and Danish for ‘armoured bears’. Every panserbjørn makes their own armour from sky-metal. They see this armour as their soul. The panserbjørne live together on Svalbard governed by a king.

4. Liveships in The Liveship Traders trilogy
Classification: Depends on the ship

Ship op Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)

Liveships are, as the name indicates, living ships. After three generations from the family who owns the ship have died, the ship quickens. From that moment on a liveship can navigate by itself and talk through its figurehead. They are unique creatures that make an interesting story!

5. Alebrijes from Coco
Classification: n/a

Alebrijes - Pepita

These animals are not from a book, but appear in one of my favourite Disney movies. In reality, alebrijes are a type of Mexican folk art. Pedro Linares first made them from paper after he dreamed about these colourful animals. Later people started to make them from wood. In Coco, alebrijes are spirit animals in the World of Death. The most well-known is Pepita, a jaguar with eagle feet and wings, ram horns and a lizard tale. Read more about alebrijes in this article.

5 thoughts on “Wyrd & Wonder – Top five unusual fantasy creatures

  1. Great to see the panserbjørne on one of these types of lists! Thestrals are also one of my all-time favourite creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

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