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.
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 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.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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