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Questions tagged [harry-potter]

For questions regarding the 7-book young-adult series by J. K. Rowling. Use this tag with the [j-k-rowling] tag.

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15 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why did literary critic Harold Bloom say something that didn't correspond to reality regarding Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

In this opinion piece by renowned late literary critic Harold Bloom, we see him levy the following charge against Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: I went to the Yale bookstore and bought and ...
5 votes
0 answers
97 views

Sign wording change in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

The sign outside the Potters' ruined house in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows reads as follows: On this spot, on the night of 31 October 1981, Lily and James Potter lost their lives. Their son, ...
7 votes
1 answer
265 views

Did Eliezer Yudkowsky read the original Harry Potter books?

This question has been asked on Reddit but without getting any properly sourced answer. Apparently there is a rumour on the internet that Eliezer Yudkowsky, author of the Harry Potter fan fiction ...
2 votes
1 answer
123 views

What is the significance of the chapter title “Detention With Dolores”?

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the title of the thirteenth chapter is “Detention With Dolores”. It strikes me as odd that Dolores is used in the title, as the book is from Harry’s ...
1 vote
2 answers
139 views

How could Umbridge have followed nonexistent tracks?

In the Harry Potter series book 5 (The Order of the Phoenix), when Hagrid comes back, the three (Harry, Ron, Hermonie) go to his cabin "through the thickening snow". How could, a ...
32 votes
1 answer
13k views

Why is Snape so fond of Malfoy?

In the end of Harry Potter, we learn that This however, does not account for why Snape shows favoritism to Draco before the Dark Lord resurrects (after which it is relatively obvious why). I am ...
-3 votes
1 answer
291 views

In what order should I read the Harry Potter series that makes the most sense?

As said I have never read the Harry Potter books but in the case that I do in what order should I read them in?
16 votes
3 answers
748 views

Is there any evidence that this character in Harry Potter was a double agent all along, prior to the revelation?

Warning: MASSIVE spoilers ahead. If you haven't read the last Harry Potter book, but plan to do so, turn back now Throughout the entire Harry Potter series, there was one character who was the comic '...
12 votes
2 answers
5k views

Do the *books* show that Hogwarts is in Scotland?

It's well known among Harry Potter nerds that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is located in Scotland. But the only sources I've found for this are extratextual, e.g. from interviews with ...
4 votes
0 answers
99 views

How could the Hogwarts elves be freed by Hermione when Dumbledore was their master?

In Harry Potter, Hermione creates the S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) organization, and starts hiding hats for the elves to find and be freed. The elves were offended and left ...
3 votes
1 answer
122 views

The problem of Percy’s presence

In Chapter Twenty-Seven of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Fudge lists the people that Dumbledore would have to overcome to escape: “So,” sneered Fudge, recovering himself, “you intend to ...
3 votes
1 answer
314 views

Is this free indirect speech in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"?

Does Rowling use the technique of free indirect speech in this piece of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in particular in the bold part? Harry was silent. Judging by the fact that Draco ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does Hermione say she has not made a Memory Charm in the café, when she did one on her parents?

In the last and seventh Harry Potter book, (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Hermione, in the Burrow, says she has used a Memory Charm on her parents. But, after being attacked by two Death ...
6 votes
3 answers
921 views

Why can't Harry Potter see the threstrals in the books before the fifth?

In the Harry Potter books, you can only see a threstral if you've seen someone die, right? In the beginning of the fourth book (The Goblet of Fire), Harry sees "horseless carriages", but ...
5 votes
1 answer
209 views

Harry Potter German translation - use of word "Eingeweide"

I am currently reading (aloud with my kids) the German translation of the Harry Potter series and I am a bit surprised that the German word 'Eingeweide' is used so often. 'Entrails', 'guts', 'bowels' ...
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does it fit in with Hermione's character for her to be tipsy?

One of the things that always bothered me about the Half Blood Prince movie is that there's a scene where Hermione is tipsy. I can't find a good clip of the scene online, but there's a lot of ...
-2 votes
1 answer
691 views

Was Sybill Trelawney named after "the" Sybil?

When she gave actual prophecies, Sybill Trelawney had a completely different "persona," not remembering what she said afterwards. Was she named after "the" Sybil (the one known for multiple ...
5 votes
1 answer
658 views

What happens to Fudge after he resigns?

Cornelius Fudge was last seen after resigning at Albus Dumbledore's funeral. What happens to him after that?
13 votes
1 answer
10k views

What does Narcissa Malfoy's name say about her character?

Many of the names in the Harry Potter series are chosen so as to reflect some trait of their character. For example: Sirius Black the black dog, Remus Lupin the wolf, Severus the severe teacher, Luna ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is Harry Potter a coming of age story?

When talking about the coming of age genre a friend of mine mentioned Harry Potter as an example. I found myself incapable of sharing this idea since not only I do not think that the core of the plot ...
6 votes
1 answer
964 views

What is the narrative type used in "Harry Potter" called?

Is there a name of the type of narrative used in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, where the events are written in third person but exclusively follow the perspective of Harry Potter? Only events ...
18 votes
3 answers
4k views

Symbolism of Albus Dumbledore's name in Harry Potter

What is the symbolism of the name Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter? 'Albus' means white 'Dumbledore' is a type of bee What is this representing?
-2 votes
2 answers
721 views

Was Harry Potter the first magic series to use wands?

Was Harry Potter the first magic series to use wands? I can't really think of any other series that used them.
5 votes
2 answers
939 views

How did Snape figure out the stuff he had written in his Advanced Potion-Making book?

The first thing that we're actually shown is Snape's modifications to the Draught of Living Death potion. Some of his modifications, like crushing the bean instead of cutting to release more juice, ...
6 votes
2 answers
581 views

What is the radical feminist take on Harry Potter?

Rowling recently came out as a radical feminist, but the book series she is famous for seems to have some problems from that perspective. For instance, the main character is a male, anointed as the ...
3 votes
1 answer
363 views

Why didn't Harry and Hermione Granger get married?

In terms of magical brilliance and personal traits, it was Hermione who was the closest to the main hero Harry Potter, and therefore was the most suited to have him as her spouse. A timid Ronald was a ...
6 votes
2 answers
612 views

JKR says that Hermione shouldn't have married Ron. Is this correct?

In an interview, JKR says that Hermione would not have married Ron: She told the magazine: "I wrote the Hermione-Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfilment. That's how it was conceived, really....
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Was Rowling inspired by the railway station scene in Prince Caspian?

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 ...
14 votes
1 answer
488 views

Are the inconsistencies in Harry Potter symbolic or allegorical?

(I asked a more verbose version of this question on Sci Fi & Fantasy where it didn't go down well. It seemed to get bogged down in whether or not the Potterverse really is "inconsistent". But I ...
5 votes
2 answers
871 views

Is it whitewashing to depict Blaise Zabini as white?

I was reading about a little kerfuckle in the Harry Potter community over the character of Blaise Zabini, who was revealed in The Half Blood Prince (more than half way through the series, despite ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

In the chapter 'Xenophilius Lovegood', why did the Death Eaters use broomsticks and not Apparition?

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter "Xenophilius Lovegood", when Mr. Lovegood summons Death Eaters, they arrive using broomsticks instead of simply Apparating to his house. I did not ...
6 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why didn't Hermione or Dumbledore use the Time-Turner to defeat Voldemort?

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Albus Dumbledore hands Hermione the 'Time-Turner', which they use to free Buckbeak and later on to rescue Sirus Black. One spin on the Time-Turner equals one hour ...
6 votes
1 answer
196 views

Are photographs in Harry Potter a device for characterizing subjects?

In an answer that I recently wrote elsewhere on this site, I posited that photographs are used by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter books as a device to portray the subjects of the photograph in a ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do wizards in Harry Potter's world wear trousers under their robes?

There has been lively discussion about whether or not witches and wizards in the world of Harry Potter wear trousers under their robes (for example, in this tweet). I have not yet seen a definitive ...
6 votes
1 answer
247 views

The Mirror of Erised, gnica psno itp ircs ni

The inscription on the Mirror of Erised reads Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi which reads "ishow no tyo urfac ebu tyo urhe arts desirE" backwards. I'm okay that the punctuation ends ...
4 votes
1 answer
460 views

How does the justice system work in Harry Potter?

I find the justice system in Harry Potter very interesting. One one hand, it seems similar to the justice system in the real world: there are trials where the accused can call a witness. 'I may be ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is Regulus Black a seeker?

In Chapter Ten of the Deathly Hallows, we're told that Regulus Black is a seeker for the Slytherin team. Is there any symbolism behind Regulus Black's Quidditch position? I got the idea for this ...
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there any textual evidence that this death in Deathly Hallows symbolized the end of childhood?

In the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we see that Hedwig is killed by the Avada Kedavra curse. "No - HEDWIG!" The broomstick spun to earth, but he just managed to seize the ...
39 votes
3 answers
16k views

Does Snape talk in code?

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Snape asks Harry many questions during his first Potions class. The first thing Snape asks Harry is “Potter! What would I get if I added powdered ...
8 votes
1 answer
13k views

How far ahead did J.K. Rowling plan Harry Potter?

I recently reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone after a long time away from the series. I noticed that within in the first five pages, Sirius Black is mentioned. "Borrowed it, Professor ...
35 votes
1 answer
21k views

Is there any textual evidence to support that Dumbledore was gay?

JK Rowling announced in 2007 to an audience at Carnegie Hall that Albus Dumbledore was in fact, gay and always had been... Q: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why was Ginny Weasley named Ginny Weasley?

The official publishing company of J.K Rowling named Pottermore have revealed (see here) that there are/were interesting and well thought etymology of characters in Harry Potter book series. It does ...
30 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did J. K. Rowling base platform 9 3/4 on the Gump?

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 ...