Questions tagged [harry-potter]

For questions about J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter or the related franchise, consisting of the original book series, expanded books, feature length films, plays, Pottermore, video games and more (including fan fiction). For questions about the Fantastic Beasts series also tag with [fantastic-beasts].

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56
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3answers
4k views

Does 'Elder' in the Elder Wand refer to the wood or its age?

I am not a native English speaker and while reading the Harry Potter books, I wasn't aware that "elder" is a plant. So I automatically assumed the elder wand was called "elder" on account of age (...
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Why didn't Harry try harder to learn magic?

In the books Harry is actually shown to be a bit of an underachiever in school. He barely makes the grades he needs to become an Auror (I forget if he actually does make the grades he needs or not). ...
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Why did Dumbledore say that Dudley had been mistreated by the Dursleys?

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Dumbledore visits Privet Drive to pick up Harry, he tells the Dursleys: You did not do as I asked. You have never treated Harry as a son. He has ...
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Why did Snape give his loyalty to Dumbledore after Dumbledore failed to carry out his part of the deal?

When Snape learned that Lily Potter was in danger, he approached his enemy Dumbledore (remember, Snape was a Death Eater back then). In exchange for protecting Lily, Dumbledore asked for the loyalty ...
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What good did Snape do anyone by infiltrating the Death Eaters?

OK, first of all, my Harry Potter knowledge is a bit rusty so I may be forgetting something. In The Half-Blood Prince Dumbledore made Snape kill him (I know he was going to die anyway) so he could ...
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Why didn't Voldemort show up on the Marauders Map?

The Weasley twins obtained the Marauders Map some time in their first year at Hogwarts and gave it to Harry in his third year. This means that they canonically had it throughout Harry's first year ...
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What does Voldemort mean when he asks Wormtail to 'milk' Nagini?

“Where is Nagini?” said the cold voice. “I I don’t know, my Lord,” said the first voice nervously. “She set out to explore the house, I think. . . .” “You will milk her before we retire, Wormtail,” ...
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Why did JK Rowling choose the name 'Harry'?

The title says it all, my question is, has JK Rowling ever commented on why she chose the name Harry for her main character?
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How could Dumbledore hire Hagrid when he wasn't Headmaster?

In Philosopher's Stone, Hagrid tells Harry how he was hired by Dumbledore. "I was at Hogwarts meself but I — er — got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wand in ...
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Is anyone at Hogwarts married?

Is anybody at Hogwarts married? Professors, groundskeepers, lunch ladies? (Joking about the lunch ladies.) For however well we got to know the faculty of Hogwarts, I don't remember spouses or ...
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Was Voldemort a Better Wizard Than Dumbledore?

Pursuant to Why Could Young Tom Riddle Do Wandless Magic, I have a somewhat related question. The majority of Harry Potter readers automatically assume that Dumbledore must be a better wizard than ...
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Had J. K. Rowling seen This Is Spinal Tap before writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone?

This may sound like a bizarre question, but when I was rewatching the classic 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, I noticed something about this scene. Nigel ...
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Why are there are no standby players in Quidditch?

In the Harry Potter universe, there are many cases where Quidditch players have to be substituted. In some cases, the replacement player has to be selected at the last moment which affects the ...
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If Filch hates Hogwarts so much, why does he still have the job?

Filch seems to hate students, dirty messes of Hogwarts, and pretty much magic in general. I know he is aspiring to overcome his Squibness, but there must be many better jobs than a janitor at a Middle-...
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Why do wizards use such ineffective spells during serious situations in Harry Potter?

In Harry Potter, we can see many wizards in many really important situations/fights using very ineffective spells, and so later on they pay the price for that (e.g. somebody uses expelliarmus, but ...
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How did Slughorn's information on horcruxes actually help Voldemort?

It's no secret that Horace Slughorn gave Voldemort information on making horcruxes, and a major thrust in the sixth book is Harry and Dumbledore trying to find out what Slughorn told him. With that ...
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How does the Hogwarts Headmaster know whom to invite to school?

So all wizards get an invitation to Hogwarts at 11... How do they know whom to invite? If a wizard is Muggle-born, then nobody would know about their existence. Or do they register some weird ...
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Why are wands so cheap compared to their materials in Harry Potter?

Harry's wand cost only 7 Galleons: He paid seven gold Galleons for his wand However, we know wands contain very rare materials: Dragon heartstring, Unicorn hair, Phoenix feather. For making a wand ...
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Just how much of The Cursed Child is JKR's?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is marketed as The eighth story. Nineteen years later. In big block caps on the back of the book. The front cover also proclaims Based on an original new story by ...
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How does the leek jinx in Harry Potter respect Gamp's Law?

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there is a passage about students having leeks growing out of their ears: A number of small scuffles broke out in the corridors, culminating in a nasty ...
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Is there any physical or mental cost to casting spells?

Often in fantasies involving magic casting spells requires a certain physical or mental toll on the caster. I don't recall any mention of spells being physically or mentally taxing in the Harry Potter ...
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Could Hermione really free the Hogwarts house-elves with her knitted hats?

Could Hermione really free the Hogwarts house-elves with the little knitted hats she hides around Gryffindor Tower? ‘Why d’you wear that thing, Dobby?’ [Harry] asked curiously. ‘This, sir?’ said ...
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Do students ever get sorted into houses other than what their family is in?

It seems to me that whatever house your parents were in is where you will end up. I know the Sorting Hat initially wanted to Sort Harry into Slytherin, but that had a lot to do with his connection to ...
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Why does Harry Potter wear glasses?

Is there some in-Universe (or somewhat canonical) explanation for why Harry wears glasses - either 100% of the time, or at least, when playing Quiddich? Surely, given assorted spells, there should be ...
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Does Voldemort know about the Invisibility Cloak?

Voldemort is keen to get his hands on the Elder Wand over the course of HP and the Deathly Hallows, but never seems to show any interest in either of the other Hallows. I can't see him caring about ...
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What does a Ravenclaw do when they can't answer the riddle for their dormitory?

To get into the Ravenclaw dormitory, they need to answer a riddle. What if they don’t know the answer? How will they get in?
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Why Didn't Dumbledore Hear the Basilisk?

J.K. Rowling has stated that Dumbledore was fluent¹ in English, Mermish, Gobbledygook, and Parseltongue. If this is so: Why didn't Dumbledore hear the Basilisk during the events in Chamber of ...
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Did the Death Eaters Know Voldemort Was a Half-Blood?

Canon seems to conflict a bit on whether Voldemort's Death Eaters knew that Voldemort was a half-blood. In Half-Blood Prince, Tom Riddle refers negatively to his parentage and it reads as if his ...
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Why did Harry get his letter by owl instead of from someone from Hogwarts?

We know that Muggle-borns get someone from Hogwarts with their acceptance letter to explain everything to their parents. Q: How are Muggle parents convinced to let their kids go to Hogwarts, a ...
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Why is Hogwarts allowed to house such dangerous creatures?

Why does Hogwarts house so many dangerous creatures or artifacts sought by dangerous people (eg. Fluffy, the three-headed dog) when there are young wizards and witches living inside the castle? ...
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Had JK Rowling seen King's Cross Station before writing the first book?

A someone who frequented King's Cross a great deal for commuting, one things always struck me as odd: Platforms 9 through 11 do not have the large pillars shown in the movie that is used for access to ...
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How did Ron speak Parseltongue and re-enter the Chamber of Secrets?

Although 'The Deathly Hallows' was overall an excellent conclusion to Harry Potter's saga, there were moments within the book that felt infuriatingly lazy, like Rowling was whipping the plot along ...
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Why does Harry not know / realize that he's already performed a 'Wronski Feint'?

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, during the Quidditch Match against Ravenclaw, Cho Chang: decided to mark him [Harry] rather than search for the Snitch herself...All right then, if ...
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Had James Potter and Vernon Dursley ever met?

His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come near him and Mrs. Dursley. The Potters knew very well what he and ...
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Where exactly is Azkaban?

In Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, we learn that Sirius Black escaped Azkaban by transforming into a dog and swimming to the mainland, and then hid in the forbidden forest. The movies ...
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Do Wizards pay Muggle taxes?

There are quite a lot of Wizarding families who, I assume, live in places inaccessible/invisible to Muggles. However, there are examples of families who live among the Muggles, so their neighbors know ...
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What happens when a Triwizard Contestant refuses to participate?

It seems different enchantments trigger different consequences - for example, Lily's protective enchantment over Harry disappears the moment Harry turns seventeen, and the Unbreakable Vow results in ...
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How could Harry be better at Potions than Snape?

In his sixth year Harry managed to generate a glowing reputation at Potions in the eyes of Slughorn by following Severus Snape's hints and tips as recorded in Snape's old Potions textbook. For the ...
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Why did the Slytherin team opt for size over skill, given their many defeats?

We know that till the first book, Slytherin had won the House Trophy six times in a row. As an answer on this site pointed out, this was probably due to winning the Quidditch Cup all those years (an ...
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Why did Lucius make a deal out of Buckbeak hurting Draco but not about Draco being turned into a ferret?

Draco and Lucius get super angry and over dramatic about Buckbeak hurting Draco’s arm and tried to get Hagrid fired and Buckbeak killed as punishment in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They ...
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Who is the oldest character in Harry Potter?

Most of the characters are just children, but other characters are quite old. Who is the oldest character (of any race) in the saga? He/she/it must be alive, at any moment of the saga.
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Why are there no battle tactics among groups of wizards or witches?

In Harry Potter, all of the magic-user-to-magic-user combat is split up into single combat, like here: Duels between one person and more than one opponent exist, ...
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Does the Interdict of Merlin appear in original Harry Potter canon?

In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky a concept called the 'Interdict of Merlin' appears: (all emphasis added) Chapter 23: His hand on the doorknob, Harry Potter already ...
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What's the point of locked doors in Harry Potter?

In the Harry Potter universe, there is a spell that unlocks things. In the books and movies, there are many occasions where the main characters use this spell to open doors in wizard buildings (such ...
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Why didn't Harry continue Dumbledore's Army sessions in the Half-Blood Prince?

Why was there no Dumbledore's Army in the Half-Blood Prince? In this year Snape is appointed as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts (DADA) teacher, and teaches, if my memory doesn't fault me, ...
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Why did Moody eat the school's sausages?

These two quotes seem to be in conflict - both from GoF: Quote 1 Moody had told them all during their last Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson that he preferred to prepare his own food and ...
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Why would Charlie Weasley give up his old wand and give it to Ron?

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6, Ron says: You never get anything new either, with five brothers. I've got Bill's old robes, Charlie's old wand and Percy's old rat. What I ...
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Why does Voldemort always attack at the end of a year?

Something that I find interesting about Voldemort is how predictable he is! In all of the books apart from book 6, he attacks at the end of the school year! Why do all of his attacks happen around ...
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Is Harry Potter the only student with glasses?

I recently got this meme: Click image to enlarge. Since, I keep wondering if Harry Potter is really the only wizard student with glasses or if there are others? Specially since, according to this ...
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What was the deeper meaning of Hermione wanting the cloak?

In Deathly Hallows: “I think you’re right,” she told him. “It’s just a morality tale, it’s obvious which gift is best, which one you’d choose —” The three of them spoke at the same time; ...