Pottermore Wiki


The Sphinx is a magical creature native to Egypt. It has the head of a human, the body of an overlarge lion, and the ability to speak to humans.

From the Story

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Discovered in chapter 31, The Third Task

The Sphinx bars one of the paths in the maze during the third task. It has the head of a woman, with long, almond-shaped eyes. She tells Harry that he is very close to his goal, and that the quickest way to the Triwizard Cup is through the path she is currently blocking. She gives Harry a riddle to solve, and says that if he answers on his first guess, she will let him pass. If he answers wrongly, she will attack him, but if he remains silent she will let him walk away unscathed. The Sphinx recites the riddle:

‘First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what’s always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?’

She smiles mysteriously as Harry attempts to guess the answer, repeating the rhyme when requested. When Harry correctly guesses the answer to the riddle, Spider, the Sphinx smiles broadly, getting up and moving aside to allow him to continue down the path.