Harry Potter's Roots: 5 J. K. Rowling's Surprising Real-Life Inspirations
Did you know that Hagrid was based on a real-life person?
Many things in the Harry Potter universe have real-life prototypes. Even the most extraordinary fictional worlds are not complete without real-life sources, which makes these fantasies more grounded and understandable to us Muggles.
1. Fluffy is the Cerberus
The three-headed dog named Fluffy who guarded the Sorcerer's Stone, is a direct reference to Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guarded the kingdom of the dead in ancient Greek mythology.
The connection between Cerberus and Fluffy is also confirmed by the fact that both have a weakness for music. In one of the myths, the Cerberus was enchanted by the singing of Orpheus, and in the movie, Hagrid's pet was put to sleep by playing the flute.
2. Dementors were inspired by depression
According to Rowling herself, dementors are the embodiment of the severe depression she experienced in her early twenties.
In medical terms, this is a fairly accurate image: depression, like the kiss of a Dementor, robs a person of the ability to rejoice, to hope, as if it was sucking the soul out.
3. Hagrid was based on a real-life person
Rowling told actor Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, that the character was inspired by a biker she met in a bar.
According to the author herself, when he walked in, people ran away from him because he looked threatening. However, he was a gardener with a soft heart, but had fists like two hammers.
4. Nicolas Flamel was a real historical figure
Nicolas Flamel is one of the few characters in Harry Potter inspired by a real person. A manuscript dealer and scribe from 14th century France, Flamel became famous as an alchemist.
Many believed that his great wealth was the result of alchemical experiments. In addition, rumors of his immortality began to spread when a group of treasure hunters discovered Flamel's grave. According to them, there was no one inside.
5. Fawkes is a Phoenix
As fans remember, Fawkes saved Harry Potter from the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets by pecking out the giant snake's eyes. Then, when Harry was bitten, he healed the wound with his tears.
The Phoenix is a mythological bird that has the ability to burn itself to death and then be reborn from the ashes. Known in the mythologies of various cultures, it is a symbol of eternal renewal and immortality.