I was rereading Prince Caspian and noticed that in the start of the story they're in

an empty, sleepy country station, and there was hardly anyone on the platform but themselves

and then they're magically pulled away to Narnia from there (and at the end, they end up back on the platform).

Is it possible Rowling was inspired by this to have wizards and witches head to Hogwarts from a railway platform?


1 Answer 1


Oddly enough, Rowling has cited The Chronicles of Narnia as an inspiration for her King's Cross entryway to the world of magic, but not the part you're thinking of!

I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at a barrier in Kings Cross Station - it dissolves and he's on platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there's the train for Hogwarts.

Source: an interview she did for the Sydney Morning Herald in 2001.

She's also claimed, in a piece of "writing by J. K. Rowling" on Pottermore, that she chose King's Cross as the point of entry for getting to Hogwarts because of its personal significance to her:

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.

(It's possible that both of these are true - she could have been inspired by her personal/family history to use King's Cross, and inspired by Narnia to have Harry hurl himself at a wall - but if we're to take them as conflicting pieces of evidence, I'd much rather rely on the earlier statement from an interview than the later one from Pottermore. I'm frankly doubtful that all of those pieces of "writing by J. K. Rowling" on Pottermore were really written by her, and even if so, she seems to be putting less care into her new additions to the Potterverse lore these days than she did back when she was writing the books. It's worth noting that she misremembered King's Cross when writing the platform scene.)

  • 2
    That's really peculiar - I suppose I can sort of see the resemblance, but the whole being-tugged-from-a-railway-platform bit strikes me as far more similar. Anyway, thanks for the answer. I'd be curious if anymore evidence can be turned up (I agree that Pottermore can be rather...doubtful at times.)
    – auden
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 21:02
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    @heather Apart from the location being a railway platform, I can't see much similarity between the Prince Caspian summoning and Platform 9.75. Harry isn't tugged from a railway platform; he wants to go there. The Narnia transition isn't physical like hitting the wall at King's Cross. Small empty countryside station vs big London terminus. (I agree the wardrobe isn't very similar either ...)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 21:05
  • True, but 'entering magical world from a railway platform' describes both cases. Whereas the wardrobe and King's Cross can only both be described as 'entering a magical world' - though I do agree the calling vs. wanting is an interesting point.
    – auden
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 21:08
  • maybe worth mentioning: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_of_Platform_13
    – Niffler
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 21:29
  • @Niffler Yep, already mentioned in comments on the question and linked to in this answer.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 15:59

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