Wednesday, April 17, 2024

J.K. Rowling -The Symbolism Of Her Creatures

J.K. Rowling: Author Of The Great Harry Potter Series

The award-winning author of the great Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, is notorious for creating a world full of characters, magic, witches, and the symbolism of mythical creatures. But is any of it real? Probably not. But some of her ideas may have been inspired by legends before her. These five creatures are based on legends since the beginning of time.


1. Basilisk

In the second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Basilisk was the monster hidden in the walls of Hogwarts, known to be the make of dark magic. The legend of Tom Riddle used young Ginny Weasely to open the Chamber of Secrets, to release the beast on the students. Though no death occurred that year, several students were petrified, literally frozen with fear. But were all of Rowling’s facts about the Basilisk according to the legend?


No, the Basilisk legend is quite different from the gigantic, green snake in the chamber. Though many believe the beast can kill if anyone looks into its eyes. The shame of the creature remains about the same. It is believed that the Basilisk was hatched from an egg laid by a serpent or a toad and fathered by a rooster. The creature often looks like the head and body of a chicken with the tail of a lizard.


2. Centaur

The most popular Centaur in the books of Rowling was named Firenze. He first was seen in the Forbidden Forest, just outside the castle of Hogwarts, helping Harry escape from danger for the first time. Later, he was outcasted from his herd in the forest and became the divination teacher for a couple of years before returning to his herd.


Out of the mythical creatures created by Rowling, the centaur has to be one of the most common folklore recognized by many people. Known for the head and torso of a human and a horse’s body, the centaur was most seen in Greek mythology.

3. Merperson

Rowling’s idea of a merperson lived in the Black Lake of Hogwarts. During the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, four contestants from three schools competed for the Tri-wizard Cup. During the second event, the contestants were to travel down into the lake to retrieve their friend taken from them. Guarding the friends were the merpeople, making sure the contestants only got the one friend they were supposed to.

The idea of the merperson, or mermaid, is similar to the legend with the body of a human and the tail of a fish. They live in the deep seas and can be on land for a substantial amount of time. One of the first beliefs of mermaids comes from the Syrian goddess name Atargatis.

She attempted to transform her beautiful body into a fish by diving into a lake. But her magic didn’t quite work completely. Another form was from Greek mythology when merpeople called Sirens, sand to sailors passing by. The men would be entranced with their spell and just have to go to them. Often crashing into the deadly rocks and dying.

4. Troll – Rowling Creatures Symbolism

Who can’t remember the iconic scene in the first Harry Potter, The Philosopher’s Stone, of Professor Quirrell running into the Great Hall yelling, “There’s a troll in the dungeon. There’s a troll in the dungeon. Thought you ought to know,“ then fainting. However, this is pretty much the only time a troll appears in the movies; it’s not the same for the rest of mythology.

There wasn’t much difference between Rowling’s troll and mythological’s. They are ugly, giant, and really stupid, usually only able to manage a club of sorts as a weapon.

The only difference is that some trolls are believed to have more decoration than the rock-like exterior that Rowling created: hair, warts, and things like that.

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