In the Harry Potter series, there is platform 9 ¾ in Kings Cross Station. You travel through this place to go to a magical place.

In The Secret of Platform 13, by Eva Ibbotson, (which is older than Harry Potter) the Gump is a magical thing that you go through to a magical place, located in Kings Cross Station.

Also, Wikipedia says this:

The book has gained extra significance as many readers find it similar to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, as the first book of that series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published in 1997, three years after this book was published. (They both mention a platform on Kings Cross Station, in London, that leads to a different world.)

Did Rowling base platform nine and three quarters on The Gump?


1 Answer 1


If she did, she hasn't admitted it. In her writing on Pottermore she states:

King's Cross, which is one of London's main railway stations, has a very personal significance for me, because my parents met on a train to Scotland which departed from King’s Cross station. For this reason, and because it has such an evocative and symbolic name, and because it is actually the right station to leave from if you were heading to Caledonia, I never knew the slightest indecision about the location of the portal that would take Harry to Hogwarts, or the means of transport that would take him there.

King's Cross Station by J.K. Rowling

Emphasis is mine, but she says that her own life experiences were the inspiration. As far as it being a hidden platform, the whole Wizarding society is hidden, so naturally their train platform would be as well.

Rowling has been known to shrug off influences in the past as well.

Sam Howells for the Sunday Mirror: Is there a certain person, author or childhood experience that influenced your talent and style of writing in children's books?

JK Rowling: I do not think there is a single author. I have said before, there is a writer called Elizabeth Goudge who wrote The Little White Horse. She described in minute detail the food everyone ate. The fact that the feasts at Hogwarts are fulsomely described I think. I think the fact I know what my characters are eating, I do not know what that says about me. I can't think of anyone who has really, you know, directly influenced it, more than that, really, sorry.

Edinburgh "cub reporter" press conference, ITV, 16 July 2005

And oddly enough J.K. Rowling isn't that into fantasy books...

Question: Did you write Harry Potter because you like fantasy books, or just because the idea came to you?

J.K. Rowling responds: The latter. In fact, I am not a great fan of fantasy books in general, and never read them!

"About the Books: transcript of J.K. Rowling's live interview on Scholastic.com," Scholastic.com, 16 October 2000

  • 5
    Except... you can't really have a platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross. She said in an interview, “I wrote Platform 9 3/4 when I was living in Manchester, and I wrongly visualised the platforms, and I was actually thinking of Euston, so anyone who's actually been to the real platforms 9 and 10 in King's Cross will realise they don't bear a great resemblance to the platforms 9 and 10 as described in the book". She may well have had "King's Cross" in mind, but not the actual King's Cross station. Jan 25, 2017 at 20:12

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