J.K Rowling is famous for hiding secret hints and easter eggs in the Harry Potter books, where it’s easy to read over them without realising their true meaning. Some foreshadow future events that have yet to take place, others tell us more than we should know at that point about some characters, and finally there are frequent plays on words and interesting coincidences to pick up on.
Today we’re going to look at ten of the best hidden easter eggs in the Harry Potter series!
#1 – Tom Marvolo Riddle’s ever changing name
We learn in the Chamber of Secrets that Tom Marvolo Riddle is an anagram for “I am Lord Voldermort”, a clever play on words. The issue translators had is that “I am” is written differently in other languages, so Tom Marvolo Riddle only works as an anagram in English.
Because of this, Tom Riddle’s name is different in every language the Harry Potter books were printed in. His name was changed in French to Tom Elvis Jedusor, which can be rearranged to spell Je suis Voldemort!
#2 – Albus Dumbledore’s headmaster’s office entrance
A long time ago, Dumbledore was a Hogwarts student himself, and belonged to Gryffindor house just like Harry and his friends.
Have you ever noticed that the entrance door to his office is a Griffin? So it’s a Griffin.. door, or put together Gryffindor.
#3 – Fred and George Weasley’s snowball pranks
We first meet Harry in the Philospher’s Stone, where Fred and George Weasley get into trouble for bewitching snowballs to fly around over Christmas at Hogwarts. The book passage reads: “The lake froze solid and the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban”.
However remember that Lord Voldemort’s face was at the back of Professor Quirrell’s head, covered only by the turban. So it turns out Fred and George were hitting snowballs at Lord Voldemort himself!
#4 – Remus Lupin’s werewolf name
J.K Rowling frequently based character’s names on important characteristics they had, and Remus Lupin is a prime example of this. Remus was a mythological character in ancient Rome, a child who was raised by wolves in the wild. Lupin is a form of “lupus”, a latin word that translates to mean “wolf”.
Between the two of them, there’s an obvious hint that Remus Lupin was secretly a werewolf.
#5 – Professor Trelawney isn’t so hopeless
During divination lessons in the Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Trelawney guesses that Harry Potter was born in the middle of winter – something that is met with laughter when he reveals he was actually born at the end of July.
However, she wasn’t necessarily wrong. Tom Riddle was born on the 31st of December, and as a part of Lord Voldemort resided in Harry as a horcrux, Professor Trelawney was picking up on his birthday instead.
#6 – Professor Trelawney gets it right again
It’s not just her students who don’t take her predictions seriously, but the professors too. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Dumbledore invites her to join his Christmas dinner at a table in the Great Hall, but she refuses saying: “If I join the table, we shall be thirteen! Nothing could be more unlucky! Never forget that when thirteen dine together, the first to rise will be the first to die!”.
However, as Ron was sat at the table with Scabbers in his pocket, secretly Peter Pettigrew, it meant that thirteen people were already sat down. After they had finished, Dumbledore was the first to rise and leave the table, foreshadowing his death in the Half Blood Prince later on.
Once again, in the Order of the Pheonix, thirteen people dined together at Grimauld Place, which was used as a headquarters for the Order of the Pheonix. The first person to rise from that table was Sirius Black, who would also later die just months later.
#7 – Snape’s love for Lily can be seen in Harry’s first Potions class
We find out much later in the series that Snape was madly in love with Harry’s mum, Lily, and this had a profound impact on his life and the choices that he made.
In Harry’s first Potions class, Professor Snape asks him: “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”. Asphodel is part of the lily family and one that is associated with death. Wormwood is known for being a source of grief, despair and bitterness. So the answer to Snape’s question is extreme grief over Lily’s death.
#8 – More plays on words
Remus Lupin wasn’t J.K Rowling’s play on words. Diagon Alley contains a slanted street and shops, and if you push the two words together you get diagonally. Or how about the dark and dangerous Knockturn Alley, which joined together makes nocturnally. In fact, these were the inspiration for our own name Magic Alley, or magically!
Here’s some more for you. If you spell Erised backwards, you get desire, making it the Mirror of Desire which shows a person’s deepest desire. Grimauld Place is a dark and depressing house, and if you split up the name, you get a grim old place. Dumbledore is an early modern English word for “bumblebee”, and J.K Rowling chose to call Albus Dumbledore this because she could imagine him humming to himself a lot.
#9 – Harry learns of Gellert Grindelwald on his first chocolate frog
On his first trip on the Hogwarts Express, Harry buys everything from the food cart for himself and Ron, including a chocolate frog. In it he finds a collectable card of Albus Dumbledore, whose description on the back reads: “Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945..”.
We don’t learn any more of Grindelwald, or his famous duel with Dumbledore, until much later in the series during the Deathly Hallows, but it’s extremely relevant to Harry’s quest for the Deathly Hallows.
#10 – Ron and Hermione’s patronuses
It’s Harry that first masters being able to cast a patronus, but during the secret meetings of Dumbledore’s Army, Ron and Hermione learn to them too. We see that Hermione’s patronus is an otter, while Ron’s is a Jack Russell terrier.
Jack Russell terriers are known for chasing otters, and this is a hint towards a blossoming romantic relationship between Ron and Hermione.
Thanks for reading! Enjoyed the article? Like our Facebook page to hear when new ones are published!