Called Salazar Slytherin the basilisk

Besides Harry, Tom and Salazar, are there any other Parseltongue men mentioned in the canon?

Harry Potter, Tom Riddle and Salazar Slytherin are the main Parseltongue outlets on the series, but Morfin and Marvolo Gaunt also speak Parseltongue and are Parseltongue. It's not too clear if Merope Gaunt is also a Parseltongue, but I'll check that again. In the chapter The house of the crooks in the Half-blood prince it is clear that Merope understands the Parseltongue language, but she doesn't speak much, if at all, in the story.

Dumbledore is no Parseltongue. He understands Parseltongue, but the books don't indicate he is speaking it. You must be able to speak Parseltongue to get one real To be Parselmouth.

I wanted to use Herpo the Foul as Parselmouth per Mooz, but my copy of FBAWTFT has an entry Basilisk on page 4. Page 25 is Leprechaun and Lethifold. I look at that school-based Version of FBAWTFT . However, Herpo the Foul appears to be linked to the making of the first Horcrux (I'm not saying that he didn't also create the first basilisk, but I can't find in the canonical confirmation that he was a Parselmouth) and JK Rowling says so about Herpo ::

SU: (laughs) Oh yes. (JN: Yes.) Oh, but yo, those Horcruxes, I tell you. There is still so much to ask. Okay, we need to know. Who created the first Horcrux? Was it Grindelwald? Salazar? Who was that?

JKR: you know what? I had the feeling it was Herpo (SU: Oh!) Who is HERPO. (SU: Herpo the foul?) I think I called him Herpo the foul. Yes, exactly. Yes. But, you know, wizards would have spent years looking for ways to do exactly what Voldemort did. And some of the ways they would have tried would have killed them. So I imagine - well, there are huge parallels - splitting the atom would be a very good parallel in our world. Something that people imagine they might be able to do but not quite realize, and then people started doing it, with sometimes disastrous results. This is how I see the Horcrux.

Interview with JK Rowling - The Leaky Cauldron - 12/23/07

Please correct me if I am wrong about Herpo the Foul.I only have the AZ range from FBAWTFT reviewed .And of course it would make sense that the creator of a basilisk would have to have some way of communicating with the animal, but I just couldn't find any confirmation that Herpo was a Parseltongue.I could have looked in the wrong place!

ETA: I finally checked this (6/17/14) and I just made a mistake - it definitely says that Herpo the Foul has a Parseltongue in FBAWTFT was in the basilisk entry. I just missed it. I have no excuse! But yes, we can count Herpo the Foul as Parseltongue. His ability to speak Parseltongue makes him a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, as the ability to speak Parseltongue is only passed down through the Slytherin bloodline. Anyway, I wanted to correct my mistake and encourage users to vote for the other answers, who got it right the first time :)


Fantastic beasts lists Herpo the Foul as Parseltongue under the entry for "Basilisk". For the full quote, see my answer here:


I also believe the pagination discrepancy occurs because the entry for "basilisk" appears on the number 4 page, but the 25th logical page is when you count i, ii, ... xxii.


When does Dumbledore learn to understand Parseltongue? Does this mean that throughout the secret chamber he could understand what the basilisk was saying in the walls?


@ user2813274: Snakes don't necessarily speak in Parseltongue. Being a Parseltongue seems to grant two abilities: to magically understand snakes and to be able to speak the magical language of Parseltongue, which snakes can apparently understand.

Joe White

If Herpo the Foul were to create the first basilisk, he wouldn't have to ancestor of Salazar Slytherin (assuming they were related) rather than a descendant? After all, Slytherin's monster was a basilisk, so basilisks must have already existed when Slytherin built his Chamber of Secrets.