With the creation of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling created a phenomenon. Within this world, The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry exists. Each year 11-years-olds receive letters announcing their acceptance to this prestigious school. Harry Potter receives thousands of letters to the chagrin of his Aunt Petunia (sister to his deceased mother Lily
Potter) and Uncle Vernon. However, Harry does eventually through the efforts of Hagrid, the keeper of keys and magical creatures at Hogwarts makes it to Diagon Alley and then to the school itself. Since the release of the first installment of this seven-book series, many iterations have popped up for the castle and school grounds. The good portion of the narrative takes place in and around the school. Overtime in the series, this location become the site of learning, sleuthing, and ultimately a showdown against Voldemort. However, this analysis will focus primarily on the general discrepancies between different iterations of this vast location early on prior to the war becoming a main issue in the series (so no room of requirement, sorry guys). It will not however, explore all locations on the premises.
Hogwarts provides Harry the chance to escape his cupboard under the stairs at the Dursley's. At Hogwarts Harry not only learns magic but makes friends and gets into various situations ranging from detention in the dark forest to leading Dumbledore's Army in the room of requirement (this is later in the books). His classes occur anywhere from the dungeons in the with his least favorite professor, Snape to in the backyard of Hagrid's Hut with Hagrid as professor.
(disclaimer not all locations within the castle or on the grounds will be explored in this analysis the locations listed are the only one looked at in an in depth manor).
Hogwarts Castle- The interior of Hogwarts as well as its exterior. Interior places that will be explored Include: the Great hall, hallways, and a few classrooms.
Hagrids Hut- This is where Hagrid both lives. Harry often visits here and eventually Hagrid teach care for Magical creatures here.
The Forbidden Forest- Forest on the grounds of Hogwarts. Technically, off limits for students, but as detention Ron, Harry, Heromine, and Draco have to help Hagrid in there.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Hogwarts appears as a castle "with many towers and turrets" (Rowling 111) and inset on the side of a mountain. As this first glimpse from the perspective of the first-year students occurs from a lake they are gazing up at it. It is night with many stars in the sky so one may imagine it as looking a little eerie and perhaps in shadow.
The first real interior description that surfaces shows the Great Hall decorated lavishly for the start of term feast. The scene's main focus is the sorting ceremony. Though upon entrance the Great Hall houses four long tables, for each house, a table up at the front for the teachers, a ceiling enchanted to look like the sky outside (thanks Hermione for this fun fact). Candles float above the four tables and dining placements already grace the table.
Snape's class takes place down in the dungeons. Here the book points out that other than being cold, there are jars with animals preserved in jars lining the walls. The movie's depiction reflects this to a tea. .
Hagrid's Hut stands near the forbidden forest the books describe it as made of wood. The interior of the cottage contains one room with hams and pheasants hanging from the ceiling, a copper kettle boiling on the fire, and " a massive bed with a patch work quilt over it (Rowling 140). In the first book, the trio discover Hagrid hiding a dragon egg in the hut, and later witness Hagrid taking care of it. Ron and Harry eventually, have to sneak it into the castle and up the astronomy tower to get it safely away from Hogwarts. Eventually, the trio and their classmates have Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid behind his hut. The trio, Draco, and Neville escorted by Filch meet Hagrid near there before entering the forbidden forest.
Though, originally stated as off limits a plethora of scenes occur in the forbidden forest. Our first experience in the forbidden takes place as a punishment for being out after curfew. Harry and Hermione gets caught with Hagrid and his dragon, Norbert by Draco. Draco tries to tell Professor McGonnagall about the dragon, however, she does not believe him. Harry and Ron return to the castle only to realize they left the invisibility cloak, which they used to sneak out of the castle, at Hagrid's. Neville also get caught out of bed because he could not remember the password to enter the dormitory. These four and Hagrid must investigate the slaying of a unicorn. Certain parameters are set out for the journey which quickly get broken due to Draco messing with Neville. Here, we also meet the centaurs one of which saves Harry after his scar inhibits him from action for a time, after Voldemort drinks unicorn blood. Three are met in the books Ronan, Bane, and Firenze. Firenze is the one whom saves Harry telling Harry the atrocity that killing a unicorn truly is.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Movie
The Movie adaptation takes the alphabetic text and translates it to a multimodal format primarily anchored in the visual. Many descriptions of places in the books translate directly to the screen, however, some have slight changes. Many places in the book had physical filming on locations around the United Kingdom while other
were inspired by real places, but were filmed on set at Universal Studios (not the theme park). First let's start with Hogwarts Castle. The book's depiction appears to directly transfer to the screen. The first shot of the school seen from the lake uses CGI to create the castle though the base, Alnwick Castle does exist. This castle was also used to film other exterior shots of the school such as flying lessons with Madam Hooch. Interior shots of Hogwarts were shot both on location and on set. The great hall, though built as a set was modeled after the dining hall at Christ Church College at Oxford University. Obviously, this location that inspired the great hall does not have an enchanted ceiling or floating candles. A room in Laclock Abbey was used to film the potion's classroom scenes.
Hagrid's Hut was its own set. However, though the hut was not an actual building that exists , the scenery around it comes from the moors in Glencoe, Scotland. The structure of the hut goes trough some minor changes in the movie. The Hut is not wooden in the movie. Though having wooden step, the exterior of hut is mainly stone. Though not strictly sticking to the book here, the stone hut seems more practical as Hagrid does have a dragon in his possession at one point.
The movie used many forests to film the dark forest. However, the first movie uses black park for both the dark forest and Hagrid's hut. The movie leaves out Ronan and Bane, only including Firenze. Also, though Firenze does save Harry, Harry does not climb on to Firenze's back like in the movie.
Now before we move on to other translatio's of this wondrous place we need to examine what we need to understand these sources of information. For the primary text of the source material, a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Philosopher's Stone (oh that language translatio)). However, one must have some alphabetic knowledge to engross themselves in this wonderful piece of literature. This requires some form of education. This education in how to read can come through academic institutions, though this may not be feasible. Home or self-instruction is possible but has its own challenges. Also, there's the ever present access question to consider. For the movie, one must have the ability to see and hear and have at least some background from source material.
Though, some may have access to this wonderful story through hand-me-downs (my exposure) that's not the case for everyone. The book must either be purchased via a bookstore or online (oh how Amazon makes us have an online shopping addiction...that's for another day) or borrowed from a library. The movies have similar access issues. Access to a movie theatre, some system to play it, or a streaming service (provided that the movie is on there). However, this does leave some groups out. If one cannot afford the books, you lose the chance to get the alphabetic knowledge needed to fully understand the translatio. Movie playing tech can sometimes be hard to work and streaming services require you to pay a subscription fee (usually after a one month trial) and require internet connection (and a good one at that). This could prevent low-income (fees/price) or those who live in rural areas (internet) from access to these materials.
Now let's look at some wonderfully crafted Hogwarts related memes.
First up. This one
This particular meme has many levels of literacy you must understand. The first is you must obviously have a generally background that this is Hogwarts. You must also know that it is a magic school. The key here is that you must know that school rules don not allow students to use magic when home for the summer. The reader must understand that this is part of the statue of secrecy which prevents wizards and witches from exposing themselves to non-magic people. Using magic during the Summer holiday is grounds for expulsion as Harry experiences when he has to use the it to save Dudley from a Dementor. Therefore, the meme points to irony in how the school runs. The school requires magic classes then basically says forget all you learned for three months. This restriction exists perhaps primarily to prevent mischief from occurring or perhaps it a perception that the children are unable to use magic responsibly.
This meme once again critiques how Hogwarts uses its power over students. Though in many ways this critique is a bit more serious, though the meme itself is pretty hilarious. To understand this meme you must first know that this is a punishment for being out and about after curfew which is ironic as this detention scene occurs after hours. A key element in understanding the meme lies in understanding that typically the forbidden forest should not be entered under any circumstances by students (hence the name forbidden). You must know that the particular shot is taken after the groups have been rearranged because Draco Malfoy played a trick on Neville. This shot also occurs just before Harry and Draco glimpse the slain unicorn. The dog that is with then is Fang, Hagrid's bore hound. Unicorns garner much respect as magical creatures therefore killing one makes you rather nefarious. The critique is clear why allow young children (they are only 11) to search for a wounded possibly dead magical creature when the murder's were abouts remain unknown. The staff, including Hagrid, appear unconcerned in some ways that these children could be injured even if you are supposed send up sparks with your wand if someone in your group is in danger.
Though Hogwarts as a real live working school may not be reality, you can visit Hogwarts physically through the Universal theme park. However, visiting both Hogwarts, Hagrid's Hut, and the Forbidden Forest require long wait times. Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure where you do venture into the Forbidden Forest had a three hour wait time when I visited the park with my dad over Spring break, either direction the line was massive, due in part probably to its newness. The other ride we will look Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey had a shorter wait time, but arguably just as many interested to ride. These translatios of both Hogwarts and the grounds are interesting in both their queue line and riding experiences.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in Universal Studios takes you though the halls of Hogwarts. The queue line starts this Journey. First you go in through a long tunnel presumably under the school. Then you walk through the green house. In here there are fans going. Also you see alot of hanging plants. You see presumably what is the dungeons with low light from lanterns. You walk up in the towers maybe. All around you you see pictures that can move. They all talk about the "muggles." The story of this ride is that Harry, Ron, and Hermione help the riders to escape a lecture by professor Binns to go witness on the Quidditch pitch. You see on a screen that Harry, Ron, and Hermione come in and whisper the plan. You travel through the towers in which you see many moving pictures. These pictures also do talk. One of the fat lady even said things about the Quidditch match you were sneaking off to. Also a video explains the ride with the benches and warning you about what you should be aware of as rider. One room you visit Dumbledore's office. Above his desk you see a video of Dumbledore warning
against Voldemort. The ride begins quit dark and remains so throughout the ride. Audio of Hermione telling riders to follow her to the room of requirement in order to escapt the lecture. It goes quite fast so some elements become hard to catch. You do hear audio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione thoughout the ride. Images of the outside of the school are shown. The ride itself feels similar to the ride "Soarin'' in Epcot. However, you do have more movement going up down and side to side. The last image seen depicts Harry, in Quidditch robes instead of school robes, flying in the Quidditch match. Functionally, you must have the ability to ride the ride. Ride retrictions (to be discussed later) limit or disempower certain people from this translatio. Socio-Culturally, you'll have had to have read the books or seen the movies to understand what makes Quidditch much more appealing than listening to Professor Binns. Additonally, they must understand that these picture can disappear and move. They must be able to understand that Hermione in particular excels at charms and school in general. This disempowers those like my Dad, who have not read the books or seen the movies. Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure
Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure takes into the Forbidden forest. Hagrid takes you on a journey in order to teach you about Magical Creatures. The ride is self takes place on a motorbike presumably modeled after the one featured in the books and movies. You can choose to ride on the motorbike or in the side car, however, you are split into groups bases on that so you can't really change your mind (I guess). The line features a full size model of Hagrid's hut. You also go into an apothecary that Hagrid has created for magical creatures. Animatronics featured in this ride resemble Hagrid and Norberta (Nortbert). The begins slow and then moves from fast to slow at different points. You also get to see Fluffy, the three-headed guard dog of the sorcerors' stone.The track stops at one point and you go backwards into devils snare. Audio in the ride tells you to use the spell solem to get out. You drop down after that. Before the ride finishes, you see a unicorn with a baby unicorn.
Functional you need to be able to follow the safety rules of the ride in order not to get hurt. Socio-cultrually you do need to understand that Norberta was illegal to own so Hagrid had to give her up, but you really can only know this if you have read the books or seen the movies. Also, you must understand that in the first book and film Fluffy was guarding the stone. This empowers those versed in the series as they get to see characters that they know and love. However, it once again disempowers those who have not read or watched the series as they miss context of certain elements of the ride such as why Norberta's visit is so important or why seeing a unicorn is so great. It also to some extent disempowers Harry Potter fans as they may not recognize some of the elements present when headed into the ride and the context for the ride doesn't exist in either the book or movie.
Though, the ride may be wonderful to experience constraints must be taken into considerations. Tickets for just one day in the park (without discount) cost almost $115 for a child. This ticket only allows entrance to one of the two Universal parks. The price jumps by $35 dollars if you want to go to both parks. Adult tickets cost $119 and $174 respectively. These prices do not include express passes, food, or souvenirs. Nor does it include travel costs as the majority of people will need to use. Also, when considering this will probably be a group or family going costs can quite easily add up to $1000 or more. While upper-middle class and wealthier families will find this manageable, lower class families may find it difficult to take time off work or take the whole family
The rides themselves also present challenges. While the average able-bodied person will be able to ride the rides, others will find it more difficult. Signs feature restrictions as the ones picture here. They warn that those who may be prone to motion sickness or those who have had recent surgeries to not ride the ride as well as others to do the same. This prevents these people from the full experience as they will have to hear about riding as opposed to just hearing or seeing the ride.
This project requires people to be able to access a computer, tablet, or phone. It also requires them to have internet. Those who do not know how to read will be disempowered. Additionally, those who live in rural area may not have access to a decent internet connection. Those in lower income classes may not have access to the technology or internet connection.
One challenge I ran into was how to separate the movie and the book as two entities. I found that in the beginning it seemed that I had to combine the two. Later, it helped to ask how to separate the two. Also how to incorporate the memes was hard as choosing which were the best. Googling memes brought up memes sometimes that weren't related at all to my project. I think one thing I would change if I had more time was I would try to go more in depth to the locations where they were filmed. I think this would bring a different element to it. Also I think the fact that some locations were slightly less adapted than other interests me. i definitely gained the ability to truly analyze how adaptions of different mediums affects a story. I learned more about the filming of Harry Potter. I learned how to upload a video from my computer to Wix. I also learned that I don't often think how going to an amusement park may affect other people or how in many ways I am lucky that I am able to go to them even once.