Connect with us

Comics & Literature

Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone

Published

on

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone image
Warner Bros.

Did you know that there are hidden messages in the Harry Potter series? J.K Rowling could not have predicted the impact her wizarding world would have on society when she wrote the Harry Potter books back in the 1990s.

The first book in the series, The Philosopher’s Stone captured the hearts of many pre-teens who were also starting out at high school, and although they didn’t have the option of choosing a wand in the run-up to the first day of school, The Philosopher’s Stone enabled those an escape to a more enchanting realm of witchcraft and wizardry.

However, Rowling’s work holds a more meaningful element that isn’t obvious at first glance. In fact, the books contain many powerful hidden messages that can be found between the lines. Here are some hidden messages from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Character Names

Rowling’s imagination knew no bounds when it came to naming her characters. Yet, many have deeper meanings than first thought. In fact, the names are often closely related to their traits. Here are a few examples:

The name Voldermort translates from the French language as “flight of death”, fitting the character’s need to escape from death. Voldermort splits his soul into pieces so that he cannot be killed easily. He is also the epitome of death throughout the series. He represents the death of Harry Potter’s parents as well as many more.

The French translation of Draco Malfoy is “bad faith”. This sums up Draco’s personality as a whole, it is also a clue to his intentions from the get-go.

The names Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore each hold a significant meaning. Albus, in Latin, translates as “white” which symbolises the colour of “goodness”, it also refers to his long, white beard. Percival was the name of one of King Arthur’s knights of the round table. He was the first to search for the lost grail. This parallels to Dumbledore’s search for Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Wulfric of Haselbury was a 12th-century, miracle-working historic figure. Although Rowling could have placed ‘Brian’ into the mix to mock his overtly long-winded name, it could also be a nod to a Celtic translation meaning “noble”. In an interview with Lyndon Christopher back in 1999, Rowling stated that she had given the name Dumbledore as “[he] is very fond of music, I always imagined him as sort of humming to himself a lot.” As Dumbledore is an old English word for ‘bumblebee’, the name fits perfectly.

Hogwarts House Colours

The colours that represent the four Hogwarts houses loosely link to the four elements. Gryffindor has a lion as its emblematic animal, and the house colour, red, signifies fire. Slytherin’s emblem is of a snake, and the colour is green which identifies with water. Hufflepuff has a badger as its symbolic animal and the main colour is yellow, linking to earth. Finally, Ravenclaw’s badge is of an eagle, and blue which roughly links to air.

It is possible that the house colours also represent the four British Isles. Godric Gryffindor originated from England and the logo of a lion corresponds with England’s own coat of arms. Rowena Ravenclaw was Scottish. There is also a link between the blue of Ravenclaw’s symbolic colour and the blue found in the Scottish flag. Helga Hufflepuff was a Welsh witch. It isn’t clear where Salazar Slytherin first resided, but the house colours, green and white, could resemble Irish descent.

Hedwig

Hedwig appears in every one of the Harry Potter books. The owl is like a guardian to orphaned Harry Potter, and this could be exactly why Rowling named him as such. In Catholicism, St. Hedwig, or Hedwig of Silesia, is known for her generosity and kindness during her rule beside her husband, Duke of Greater Poland. Named after the patron saint, St Hedwig orphanage in Chicago took in thousands of orphaned children up until its closure in the 1950s.

Snape’s first words to Harry Potter

Snape’s first words to Harry is a question about the mixing of certain potions: “What would I get if I mixed root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” Though, this isn’t a way of embarrassing Potter as you would first believe. When delving deeper into the two ingredients, a message emerges. Asphodel is, in fact, a flower from the Lily family, also the name of Harry Potter’s mother and the long-lost love of Snape. Also, lilies are often gifted after death as they represent the restored innocence of the soul that departed. Wormwood associates with regret and has a bitter taste.

The sorting hat

Harry first encounters the sorting hat on his first day at Hogwarts. The hat “sorts” the newcomers into their appropriate houses. It’s significant that the hat attempts to place Harry into Slytherin, as he has the qualities the house desires, but Harry is determined to stick with noble Gryffindor. This signals that Harry has a connection to Slytherin although he is yet to realise this.

Dumbledore and Hagrid: Two contrasting father-figures

We’ve established that Albus translates to “white” in Latin, but “rubeo”, also in Latin, means “red”. It looks like Rowling didn’t accidentally use colours to describe Harry Potter’s two father figures. Using Pottermore she describes how the two colours are actually contrasting in the science of alchemy: “I named them for the alchemical colours to convey their opposite but complementary natures: Red meaning passion (or emotion), white for asceticism; Hagrid being the earthy, warm and physical [father figure] […] Dumbledore the theoretician, brilliant, idealized and somewhat detached.’ For Potter, both traits are essential in his guardianship as he journeys through the wizarding world.


Are there any hidden messages in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone we missed? Let us know in the comments below.


Read more of our Harry Potter articles HERE

Read IMDB information about the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone movie HERE.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comics & Literature

Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered

Published

on

Draco Malfoy Harry Potter image
Warner Bros.

It’s been over 24 years since the first instalment of the Harry Potter series was published. But regardless of the length of time passed, many questions are still left unanswered. Fansites still tear apart page upon page looking for the key to unlock J. K. Rowling’s extraordinary mind. Interviewers have fired question after question at the infamous author. Yet, when one question is answered, it seems to open the flood gates for many more.

J. K. Rowling has now moved onto crime fiction. But she still finds the odd spare moment to grace Potter fans with her virtual presence. Using Twitter to answer some of the endless questions’ fans have conjured.

Let’s take a look at some of the most valid Harry Potter questions asked on Twitter and how J.K. Rowling answered them.

What happened to Fluffy the three-headed dog?

Poor Fluffy wasn’t mentioned again after being set free in the Forbidden Forest. Never fear! Rowling is here to tell us of Fluffy’s fate.

Back in February 2015, Rowling replied to the question on Twitter. stating that ‘He was repatriated to Greece. Dumbledore liked to put Hagrid’s more foolish acquisitions back where they belong.’

Beyond the happily ever after

A snapshot of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Happily Ever After is presented at the end of the final book. The three (and Ginny) complete the circle by walking their own children to the Hogwarts train.

But, their lives developed much more than having children. As Rowling revealed back in 2007. Hermione began her career within the Ministry of Magic. She worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Here, she became instrumental in the improvements for the treatment of house-elves. After this, she moved to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, where she ensured the eradication of pro-pureblood laws.

Harry and Ron took different paths. Harry became an aura, a highly trained law enforcement officer. Ron went into the family business, helping his brother run Weasley’s Wizarding Wheels.

Did Harry, Ron and Hermione return to their schooling?

There’s a huge gap at the end of The Deathly Hallows. The pages seem to jump from the defeat of Voldemort to 19 years later. So did the famous trio return to school?

Rowling stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWT’s. But Harry and Ron did not, instead, they followed their career paths straight away. Although, I’m pretty sure defeating the source of all evil scores big points on a C.V.

Harry’s scar shape is important, right?

Well, no. Unfortunately, Rowling just thought ‘it looked cool’.

Potter super-fans have other ideas, though. One Tweet back in 2019 revealed that the scar could symbolise much more. @TodayYearsOld Tweeted:

‘Did you know Harry Potter’s scar isn’t a lightning bolt, but the hand motion to cast Avada Kedavra.’

Avada Kedavra is a killing curse used within the Dark Arts. The hand movement looks like a lightning bolt, but much softer. Not surprisingly, the Tweet went viral and caused shock waves through the Potter community.

What does Hufflepuff’s common room look like?

We are taken on a trip to Slytherin and Ravenclaw’s common room, and we spend a lot of time in Gryffindor’s. So, when fans asked Rowling for a description, she was only too happy to oblige.

‘The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry – I should say ‘painting’ rather than portrait because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape’s dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels leading to the dormitories. All of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.’

Is there more than one Wizarding school?

If you are one of those people who watch the films before the books. You’ll have probably asked ‘Is Hogwarts the only school for wizards?’. In this instance, it’s the books that hold the key, and if you take notes in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’ Students from other schools arrive at Hogwarts to attend the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

The books reveal more about a couple of schools, such as the Palace of Beauxbatons. Beauxbatons is a beautiful chateau situated in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France. Durmstrang is another, and one of the three largest in Europe. Durmstrang is situated in the northmost regions of Norway or Sweden and is known for its Dark Arts.

Rowling has since revealed more schools, including Castelobruxo, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Ilverymorny.

Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood end up together?

It’s a no, which has disappointed fans. But the two remained close friends as Luna followed a career in Wizarding Naturalism. She became famous for tracking rare creatures before marrying Rolf Scamander.

Neville married fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbot. Surprisingly, Neville became an aura before returning to Hogwarts as a Herbology Professor.

Did Draco Malfoy get his just desserts?

This is a big one for Potter fans who wished to see Draco pay for everything he subjugated Harry to. But, as The Deathly Hallows hints, it appears he went through a huge transformation.

Draco was a complex character, not only a member of Slytherin, but he was also a bully. But much of his behaviour came from his upbringing.

Draco tried to prove himself to the Dark Lord, only to be rescued by the three he often tormented. This caused him and his mother to neglect Voldemort once it was believed Harry was dead. The two avoided Azkaban, and he went into a very dark place, emotionally. But he emerged a changed man. He had a wife and a son, and a simple nod to the trio 29 years on seemed to solidify that he had changed.


Thanks for reading our article on unanswered Harry Potter questions now answered. Did you already know these? Did we miss any big ones? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out 5 Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows That You Missed HERE.

Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.

Continue Reading

Trending