48 votes
Accepted

Why is Snape so fond of Malfoy?

It's subtle and perhaps a bit of a stretch, but I think we can infer that Snape likes Draco for a similar reason to why he dislikes Harry. He dislikes Harry because Harry's father treated him badly at ...
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  • 1,167
43 votes
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Does Snape talk in code?

We don't know, but there's a lot of evidence supporting it. The Language of flowers, or floriography, goes back much further than Victorian times. It was used or alluded to in Shakespeare's plays (...
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  • 63.1k
33 votes
Accepted

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

In terms of explicit confirmation, the answer is a very solid no. At no point did any character, nor the omniscient narrator, identify Dumbledore's sexuality in simple terms. Signs and portents. ...
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  • 4,340
24 votes

Was Harry Potter the first magic series to use wands?

NO! Wands have been associated with magic for millennia, both in fiction and in the real-world practice of both stage magic (conjuring tricks for an audience) and occultism (purported real magic). ...
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  • 63.1k
22 votes
Accepted

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

WARNING: Spoilers ahead. (Emphasis mine on all quotes below) Why was Hedwig killed anyway? Other than the twitter link provided in the question, Rowling gave a fuller explanation in an interview (full ...
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22 votes
Accepted

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

Time Turners can't go back that far. J.K. Rowling has said that it's impossible for those 1-hour Time-Turners to go back farther than 5 hours. (See quote below.) So: She can't. If you're asking about ...
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  • 19.1k
22 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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  • 3,667
19 votes

Does Snape talk in code?

As stated in this same question on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, J. K. Rowling has never said anything stating whether or not this was intentional. We only have speculation to go on, ...
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17 votes

Symbolism of Albus Dumbledore's name in Harry Potter

Albus As you state, Albus translates to "white", which was a nod to alchemy: Colours also played their part in the naming of Hagrid and Dumbledore, whose first names are Rubeus (red) and ...
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  • 3,667
17 votes
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Why was the Obscurus omitted?

It is there... In the Amazon preview of the book, on page 122 there is a chapter on The Obscurus. If you're asking why it's not included in the' beasts' section, probably because: It's not strictly ...
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  • 19.1k
17 votes

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

Since this is basically the same question as the one on Sci-Fi I will summarize the answer from @Valorum. Basically, some wear underwear, some don't even go that far. Valorum gives more quotes (I ...
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17 votes

Does Snape talk in code?

On a Pottermore article ("Lily, Petunia, and the Language of Flowers") this is written: If his first words to Harry are anything to go by, the language of flowers suggests that Snape deeply regrets ...
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  • 4,179
15 votes
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Was Rowling inspired by the railway station scene in Prince Caspian?

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 ...
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  • 63.1k
13 votes

Why was Ginny Weasley named Ginny Weasley?

I believe all the Weasleys except Ron were named after either characters from Arthurian legend or historical royalty of England/Albion/Britain: Arthur (duh) Molly (sometimes a nickname for Margaret ...
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12 votes
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Symbolism of Albus Dumbledore's name in Harry Potter

The last name is actually not that fancy. As this old interview with Rowling states: How did you decide what to name your characters and places? I collect unusual names. I have notebooks full of them....
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  • 991
11 votes
Accepted

Was Sybill Trelawney named after "the" Sybil?

JKR has stated this: Sybill's first name is a homonym of 'Sibyl', which was a female clairvoyant in ancient times. My American editor wanted me to use 'Sibyl', but I preferred my version, because ...
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  • 19.1k
11 votes

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

"Scotland" is only mentioned once in the series, and that is as a Quidditch team in Chapter Five of Goblet of Fire: And Wales lost to Uganda, and Scotland was slaughtered by Luxembourg." In ...
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  • 2,657
11 votes
Accepted

Harry Potter German translation - use of word "Eingeweide"

The first example in Der Orden des Phönix seems to be Solch wilde Gedanken wirbelten durch Harrys Kopf, und seine Eingeweide verknoteten sich vor Zorn The original English is These ...
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  • 630
10 votes

Why is Regulus Black a seeker?

If we're interpreting the scene that Hamlet wrote about in his answer (I haven't read the books recently enough to recall whether Regulus' Quidditch position is mentioned elsewhere), I have another, ...
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  • 5,556
9 votes

What is the radical feminist take on Harry Potter?

Defining flavours of feminism is difficult, but let's go with the Wikipedia definition: Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male ...
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  • 14.3k
8 votes

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

Spoilers involved! TL;DR at the bottom. In an interview (1,2,3), the author says the following about the name Narcissa (emphasis mine): queenmarion: I noticed in the Black Family tree that everyone ...
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8 votes

Is it whitewashing to depict Blaise Zabini as white?

Whitewashing is distinct but related things. Changing an existing non-white character to be a white one. Using white characters in a setting that would typically have non-whites. White actors, ...
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  • 3,667
7 votes

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

The strongest evidence (in my opinion) is Dumbledore's unwavering trust. When other characters doubted him, Dumbledore always affirmed his confidence, but never gave others a reason to share it. This ...
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  • 1,801
6 votes
Accepted

The Mirror of Erised, gnica psno itp ircs ni

There are a couple of possible reasons why the spacing was chosen in a different way from that of the original unreversed words (which is, by the way, a very minor stylistic choice) ... To make the '...
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  • 63.1k
6 votes

Are photographs in Harry Potter a device for characterizing subjects?

In Chamber of Secrets (p. 106) we read as follows: Harry looked bemusedly at the photograph Colin was brandishing under his nose. A moving, black-and-white Lockhart was tugging on an arm ...
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  • 2,657
6 votes

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

As previously answered on another Stack Exchange site; some things were certainly pre-planned (h/t yannis in the comments). According to an archived version of Potter FAQ on Rowling's website: 'The ...
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  • 5,556
6 votes
Accepted

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

When a story is told from a single character's point of view, this type of narrative is known as third-person-limited narration (see Terms Used by Narratology and Film Theory by Dino Franco Felluga, ...
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  • 38.1k
6 votes

Is Harry Potter a coming of age story?

Why can't HP be both? I particularly like your comment about HP being a hero-slaying-the-dragon story, and I agree that if you have to choose 1 trope to force HP into, this may be the best one. ...
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6 votes

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

The author answered this question by saying that you need to have seen death and fully comprehended it in order to see Thestrals. From a 2003 interview with Stephen Fry, in which the latter read out ...
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