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According to the Marauder's map entry on Harry Potter Wikia,

The Marauder's Map is a magical document that reveals all of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Not only does it show every classroom, every hallway, and every corner of the castle, but it also shows every inch of the grounds, as well as all the secret passages that are hidden within its walls and the location of every person in the grounds, portrayed by a dot.

But the same wiki's entry for Unplottability discusses the fact that Hogwarts is unplottable and includes this bit:

Unplottable locations are either magically hidden from plain sight or simply removed on maps.

Don't these directly contradict each other? If Hogwarts cannot be plotted on any map, how could the Marauder's map so accurately plot every bit of the castle?

  • 2
    HP Wikia is horribly inaccurate and inconsistent. That being said, I would like to know how the map Plots the Unplottable. – Gabe Willard Apr 27 '12 at 18:07
  • Is there a better/more reliable source I can check? – phantom42 Apr 27 '12 at 18:09
  • Probably not. It can be inaccurate, but it's a good index. Check the sources for anything it says before considering it canon, though. A lot of the stuff it says has no source listed, in which case you'd have to hunt it down to really know. The problem is, wiki's can be edited by any schmoe. I could go edit Harry's page and say he's Voldemort's brother, if I so chose. That's why it's a really bad idea to base conclusions off of solely wiki's. – Gabe Willard Apr 27 '12 at 18:20
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    I thought this question was going to be about the moving stairs!! i.e. the fact that the inside of Hogwarts changes! – AidanO May 8 '12 at 11:43
  • 1
    Hogwarts is plottable. Don't believe unsourced things from the wiki. – ibid Feb 5 '17 at 4:42
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I think the difference here is that the Marauder's Map is specific to show Hogwarts only. It could not be used to find Hogwarts so Hogwarts is still technically unplottable as any map would not reveal the location of it, as in no map would be able to show you how to get to Hogwarts.

I think it shows the genius of James Potter and his friends that they found a loop hole in the system of the unplottable Hogwarts. No one had ever thought to make a map of the school itself.

  • He really was a genius. – Darth Egregious Apr 27 '12 at 19:25
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    If the main point of making Hogwarts unplottable is for defense, it seems as though making the insides unplottable as well would be a key point to make sure that the spell addresses. – phantom42 Apr 27 '12 at 19:59
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    While that is logical you have to consider two things, wizards can be both absent minded and overconfident and more importantly anyone who had gotten into Hogwarts would already be inside it's defenses. So if the main point of the spell or spells making Hogwarts unplottable is for defense then allowing a loophole for a map of Hogwarts itself to exist would not be a concern for any spellcasters as much as inner defense spells would be. So once again the idea of a map of Hogwarts wasn't considered or was overlooked as not a concern. – Kevin Howell Apr 27 '12 at 21:37
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Consider the invisibility cloak. It makes whoever is under it unseeable, but those under it can still see themselves (and each other if there are more than one). I think it's the same thing with the map. Hogwarts is unplottable with respect to the outside world, but the people inside aren't unplottable with respect to Hogwarts. The map is showing the inside of the area that's unplottable, not where the unplottable area actually is.

  • Which would imply the map wouldn't work outside of Hogwarts, but isn't there an instance where Harry uses it from his uncle's house? – Joubarc May 8 '12 at 14:35
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    I don't think from his Uncle's house, but when they were running around in the seventh book. But I don't think that would preclude its use outside Hogwarts. Even from outside, it's not showing the location of Hogwarts, just things inside it with respect to the castle itself . – Kevin May 8 '12 at 14:46
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I hadn't considered this before now, but the Maurders Map is what Prongs, Padfoot, Moonie and Wormtail knew to be Hogwarts. It's able to be displayed on their map because they knew it existed. They were the secret keepers so to speak. They didn't know of the 'Room of Requirement' and thus that didn't show up on the map.

  • I suppose this would explain why the Chamber of Secrets never showed up on the map? (I'm assuming it doesn't otherwise I'm sure James Potter & co would have tried to get into it to see what was down there...) – Nick Shaw May 8 '12 at 15:59
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Because Hogwarts is Plottable

This is pretty much directly stated/implied in the books.

In the fourth book, while explaining the differences between how the Wizarding Schools hide themselves, Unplottability is used as an example of something that the non-Hogwarts schools would probably use.

“There’s traditionally been a lot of rivalry between all the magic schools. Durmstrang and Beauxbatons like to conceal their whereabouts so nobody can steal their secrets,” said Hermione matter-of-factly.

“Come off it,” said Ron, starting to laugh. “Durmstrang’s got to be about the same size as Hogwarts — how are you going to hide a great big castle?”

“But Hogwarts is hidden,” said Hermione, in surprise. “Everyone knows that . . . well, everyone who’s read Hogwarts, A History, anyway.”

“Just you, then,” said Ron. “So go on — how d’you hide a place like Hogwarts?”

“It’s bewitched,” said Hermione. “If a Muggle looks at it, all they see is a moldering old ruin with a sign over the entrance saying danger, do not enter, unsafe.”

“So Durmstrang’ll just look like a ruin to an outsider too?”

“Maybe,” said Hermione, shrugging, “or it might have Muggle-repelling charms on it, like the World Cup stadium. And to keep foreign wizards from finding it, they’ll have made it Unplottable —”

(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter Eleven)

In the sixth book, it is said that the room of requirement can be made unplottable if so desired, again implying that Hogwarts usually is plottable.

“Maybe the Marauders never knew the room was there,” said Ron.

“I think it’ll be part of the magic of the room,” said Hermione. “If you need it to be Unplottable, it will be.”
(Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter Twenty-One)

Furthermore, I have searched through all of Rowling's Harry Potter related writings and interviews for the string "plott", and can confirm that there are no places where it is implied that Hogwarts is unplottable.

Hogwarts being unplottable wouldn't even make much sense, seeing as it's commonly known where it is, and it's right next to a populous Wizarding city.

Also, as you mentioned in your question, Hogwarts appears on the Marauder's Map. This would by very definition mean that Hogwarts can't be unplottable.

When an area of land is made unplottable, it is impossible to chart on maps.
(Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them - A Breif History of Muggle Awareness of Fantastic Beasts)

Considering all the evidence against the wiki's claim, and the lack of evidence towards it, I'm going to say that the wiki just made one of their usual errors, and that the Marauder's Map can plot Hogwarts because Hogwarts is plottable.

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    Surely the point of making Hogwarts unplottable (if they did so) would be to hide it from Muggles, as Hermione implies, not foreign wizards, like Durmstrang? – The Dark Lord Feb 5 '17 at 10:09
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From Pottermore:

The Marauder's Map is lasting testimony to the advanced magical ability of the four friends who included Harry Potter's father, godfather, and favourite teacher.

The magic used in the map's creation is advanced and impressive; it includes the Homonculous Charm, enabling possessor of the map to track the movements of every person in the castle, and it was also enchanted to forever repel (as insultingly as possible) the curiosity of their nemesis, Severus Snape.

  • So the Homonculous Charm is the real key to the whole map? What does it do? – phantom42 Jul 31 '13 at 19:56
  • Here is the Harry Potter wiki entry for it: harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Homonculous_Charm – Treborcram Aug 1 '13 at 1:09
  • That should probably be a big part of your answer. You should edit the relevant information in. – phantom42 Aug 1 '13 at 1:54
  • The answer gives the basic information of the charm. I figured you were interested in more details. – Treborcram Aug 1 '13 at 2:38

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