I'm in middle of reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I came across Lily's letter on page 180. Both she, and Harry in his reaction to the letter, mention Bathilda Bagshot. I assume her character was used earlier in the book or series. At the point of reading the letter, the reader is supposed to remember something about this character. I however have forgotten all about Ms. Bagshot.

I have a feeling Ms. Bagshot is important to the plot. (I feel she is important because Rowling tends to mention seemingly unimportant thoughts, ideas or characters only to use them for the basis of her plot later in her books). Though, as I am reading the Deathly Hallows for the first time, I am unsure as to the importance of Ms. Bagshot. This makes me reluctant to look her up, as reading an article on her character might include spoilers. I therefore ask the following question:

Without explicitly spoiling the rest of The Deathly Hallows, what is the reader supposed to remember about Bathilda Bagshot while reading Lily's letter? (Rowling also tends to quote obscure lines from previous books in the series which she is expecting the reader not to remember. She then proceeds to use that line as the basis of her plot. Please only mention what the reader is supposed to remember).

  • 2
    If you remember back to the wedding scene, she was mentioned by Muriel as living in Godric's Hollow and knowing the Dumbledores. That's all you really have to know. Jul 5, 2017 at 20:26
  • 1
    Rowling had plenty of aborted characters / storylines that never got used later.
    – Davor
    Jul 6, 2017 at 10:35
  • I wonder if this was a reference to Bagshot Row in The Lord Of The Rings.
    – zeta-band
    Jul 6, 2017 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


From the wedding, Harry talking to Elphias Doge:

“Bathilda Bagshot?” Harry said. “The author of A History of Magic?”
The name was printed on the front of one of Harry’s textbooks, though admittedly not one of the ones he had read most attentively.
“Yes,” said Doge, clutching at Harry’s question like a drowning man at a life belt. “A most gifted magical historian and an old friend of Albus’s.”
- Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows - Chapter 8, "The Wedding"

That part actually says what Harry (and the reader) know about Bathilda at the time.


From Wikipedia:

Bathilda Bagshot is a noted historian in the wizarding world, and author of the book A History of Magic.

There is more information there, but I think most of that comes from parts of The Deathly Hallows that you haven't read yet.

I'm not sure if you're meant to remember that somewhat obscure piece of information, but the name is mentioned in the letter and repeated so that you remember it

when Harry goes to meet her shortly thereafter.

  • 6
    She is mentioned in the first book in the list of required textbooks; also in the third book, where Harry is reading A History of Magic in chapter one. Jul 5, 2017 at 20:24
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    @Gallifreyan - And in FB & QttA.
    – ibid
    Jul 5, 2017 at 20:37
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    @Gallifreyan Yes indeed and famously in early British editions of Prisoner of Azkaban, the author is erroneously given as Adalbert Waffling instead of Bathilda Bagshot :P
    – Au101
    Jul 5, 2017 at 21:09
  • I considered spoilering that, @ʀᴇᴅ, but decided not to. It's a tiny piece of information, and comes very shortly after the point that the OP is up to (if I remember correctly).
    – Shokhet
    Jul 6, 2017 at 21:00
  • @Shokhet Fair enough. The question specifically stated that the OP did not look Bathilda up to avoid spoilers. So I decided to err on the side of pedantry. Jul 16, 2017 at 7:15

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