Well in yesterdays post of this little series, From Napkins to Hardcovers, I wrote about J.K. Rowling’s explosion from struggling mother to best-selling author. In today’s post, I’m going to address the appeal of the wizarding world; more importantly Hogwarts castle.
From the instant I opened the first Harry Potter book I was drawn into a fantastic world of both good and evil, of beauty and destruction and an ominous shadow overhead. When Harry first reaches Diagon Alley he is driven into a world of magic; far different than his previous mundane existence. The world is laced with secrets, omens and beauty far beyond anything he had ever dreamed. However, when he reaches Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers a home for the first time. The castle is full of portraits along the wall composed with the souls of the dead who often conversate to passerby students and bicker with one another. Ghosts from across the ages troll through the hallways, some for better, some for worse.
The castle is full of towers, hidden rooms, floating candles and a lavish dining hall that would make any witch or wizard’s mouth drool. Throughout the series the trio discover new areas of the castle which aid them through their quests such as the Room of Requirements, The Pensieve, secrets pathways and the eery dungeons and what lurks beneath. Many people have called the halls of Hogwarts home; the walls or no longer a confined of school-age wizards, but a retreat for anyone who he needs help. For of course, “help will always been given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it”.
After finishing the series, I felt compelled to stay within the confines of its pages. The magic of Hogwarts is so immersive that readers don’t read descriptions of this place, but they walk through the great doors into its walls. J.K. Rowling sees the castle as, “A huge, rambling, quite scary-looking castle, with a jumble of towers and battlements. Like the Weasley’s house, it isn’t a building that Muggles could build, because it is supported by magic”. Throughout the series we learn more things about the castle, such as muggle equipment like computers, cell-phones and GPS malfunction around the castle, and that wizards can’t apparate within its grounds. However, in Hogsmeade it is possible, as demonstrated by Dumbledore in the sixth film.
The final book shows a much darker side of the castle. With Dumbledore dead, Severus has a tight hand over the school with Death Eaters on the grounds. Students are being terrorized by the new teachers and all hope is lost. We should assume that the castle is back up and running sometime before the epilogue; seeing as there are plenty of children around station nine and 3/4.
Of course this setting would be attractive to readers. Who would not want to attend a school to learn magic? Instead of football, you can fly around on brooms at speeds of 65 mph throwing balls through hoops infront of a field of raging fans. The whole setting is a romanticized school that I fell in love with through first read.
Question: What’s your favorite part of Hogwarts?