Harry Potter: Major References to Ancient Mythology

The wizarding world of Harry Potter is the pure magic, whether on the page or the big screen and within that magic are deep parallels to Ancient Mythology.
Traces of Greek and Roman mythology could be found in today’s most significant pop culture outlets. These tales typically included Greek and Roman gods who ruled over the stories and tipped the chances in their favor. On the other hand, some of these myths delight in the obscurities of creatures that can only be described on paper. Mythological creatures threaten ancient mythology’s heroes and serve as gods’ tests.

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One franchise, in particular, is so heavily reliant on mythology that these creatures helped to construct an entire world. The renowned Harry Potter series welcomes these ancient monstrosities into their universe. From The Sorcerer’s Stone to the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling transformed these monsters into her creations. Hogwarts would have been a very different place if it hadn’t been for the foundation of ancient mythology. In Harry Potter films, there are numerous references to ancient mythology.

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Three-Headed Horror

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in the seven-part series, was published in 1997, and the film version was released nearly four years later. The picture was the start of one of the most popular and highest-earning franchises in cinema history, grossing over $90 million in its first weekend alone. On his 11th birthday, Daniel Radcliffe’s character, Harry Potter, discovers that he is a wizard whose existence is crucial at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry and his two pals have whisked away in the literal magic of it all and must retrieve the sorcerer’s stone, which offers immortality to the beholder before the evil does. The Sorcerer’s Stone was a great way to get into the wizarding realm.

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The journey to the stone is difficult, but the three meet Fluffy, a three-headed dog guarding the entrance where the stone appears to be hiding, on their first attempt. Cerberus, a three-headed dog who guards the entrance to the underworld and keeps the dead from leaving, is referred to as Fluffy. Cerberus is a well-known figure in mythology, appearing in Dante’s Inferno and other famous literary works.

One Snake is Better than Stone

The Chamber of Secrets, the second chapter in the Harry Potter franchise, included a monster that isn’t as easily recognizable as Fluffy but is just as apparent to mythology fans. Recent attacks at Hogwarts have jeopardized the school, and it’s up to the core three to uncover the mystery. The victims are petrified or rendered immobile in these attacks. After Hermione (Emma Watson) becomes petrified, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) must band together to figure out who the attacker is, using clues left behind by Hermione. The two realize that the monster is a basilisk capable of immobilizing its victims with a single glance. Does this ring a bell?

The basilisk is a reincarnation of Medusa, one of mythology’s most famed ladies. Medusa could transform everyone who looked into her eyes into pure stone with just one look. Because the victims of petrification can be cured, Harry Potter allows for a lighter tone. On the other hand, Medusa’s victims would remain in their new state indefinitely.

Wolf in Man’s Skin

Professor Lupin transforms in honor of the full moon. Warner Bros. Pictures is a studio that produces films.
Professor Remus Lupin originally appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and he is still one of series’ most popular characters. He is the new Defence Against to the Dark Arts professor in the film, and he takes a shine on Harry. He knew Harry’s father and shared many memories of their time at Hogwarts with him. Despite his connection and overall happy manner, Lupin has an unsettling quality about him, revealing in the film’s third act that Lupin is truly a werewolf.

Werewolves have long been considered among the great monsters, and their origins may be traced back to ancient mythology. According to History Channel, werewolves originally appeared in literature in “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” a Mesopotamian epic poem. However, the old beast was given a personal touch by J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. Professor Lupin’s name, Remus, is a tribute to Rome’s founders. According to legend, two twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, were abandoned in a river and discovered by a wolf who let them, a nurse on her. When they got older, they quarreled over who had established Rome, leading to Remus’ death at the hands of Romulus.

Trouble in the Water

When people think about mermaids, the first thing that comes to mind is Disney’s Ariel. Long flowing hair and a brightly colored tail are far more appealing than the merpeople of the Harry Potter realm. Harry’s name is put into the Triwizard Tournament Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Harry must once again face danger. One of the Tournament’s events challenges participants to go deep into the Great Lake to rescue one of their companions, who nefarious merpeople have kidnaped. The only difference is that the stakes are much higher this time, and the film culminates with Lord Voldermort, the terrible lord whose mere mention silences a room.

Mermaids in mythology have a completely different personality from those in Disney films. According to legend, mermaids, also known as sirens, were said to seduce sailors with their seductive songs and entice them to their deaths. The Odyssey by Homer is one of most well-known pieces of literature that features sirens. The author of Harry Potter alludes to these sirens and exploits their melody, although not with the genuine merpeople. Harry receives a golden egg containing information about the next event in the Tournament. When you open the egg above water, it makes a horrible screeching sound, but it sings a lovely song when you open it underwater. The egg tells of individuals who offer a beautiful country with a lake, much like the sirens at sea. The Harry Potter franchise has not only a story about the witches and wizards, or good vs. evil, at its core; it also draws inspiration from epics and great works of literature to improve its already timeless story.

Author: Saira Hussain