It’s been seven years now since the last opus of the Harry Potter franchise was released. Regardless, fans of the books and movies, and the saga’s author herself, have kept the Pottermania flame very much alive with magical Potter facts and crazy fan-theories about the lore and characters. While a whole new generation is also being introduced to the story of the Boy Who Lived, it is no doubt now that this story has touched enough people to live on for several decades.
To celebrate the immortality of the franchise, here are 23 amazing Harry Potter Easter Eggs you may have missed…
1. Dumbledore’s Griffin-Door
We all remember the giant and beautiful griffin standing before Dumbledore’s office, right? Well something that may have flown over your head — pun fully intended — is that the entire thing is a wordplay – griffin-door. Does that ring a bell to anyone? Gryffindor, of course. And Dumbledore is himself a member of that Hogwarts House. Clever indeed, and so obvious most of us had no idea it was there. We do say the most obvious things are the most difficult to find!
2. An Honor to J.K. Rowling’s Grandfathers
The driver and conductor of the bus in the Prisoner of Azkaban are called Ernest and Stanley in homage to J.K. Rowling’s maternal and paternal grandfathers, Ernie Rowling and Stanley Volant.
3. Reverse Frog Leap
In the Philosopher’s Stone, when Harry has just met Ron in the train to Hogwarts, a frog escapes from the chocolate treats Harry bought and jumps out the window. An Easter Egg that will melt your heart if you hadn’t already noticed it – in Deathly Hallows Part 2, a frog also jumps the other way around through the window and into the compartment while the trio’s children are headed to Hogwarts themselves. Goosebumps.
4. Voldemort’s Portrait
It is still debated to this day, but in a shot of the children climbing the stairs to their chambers in the Prisoner of Azkaban, a portrait of a pale and bald wizard appear briefly in the right-hand corner. The resemblance to Lord Voldemort as seen in later movies is striking, and if it is indeed meant to be the dark wizard, then this would be the first time he appears in his true form in the franchise before The Goblet of Fire where Harry meets him face-to-face.
5. That Marauder’s Map Detail
In the Prisoner of Azkaban’s end credits, the Marauder’s Map shows two pairs of entangled feet, suggesting that a pair of students have been having some fun in-between classes. Cheeky!
6. The Number Seven
In the Wizarding World, the number seven is extremely powerful, and that is demonstrated in the way the number is referenced perpetually throughout the franchise. In the penultimate movie, Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry’s friends drink a Polyjuice Potion that creates seven Harry dopplegangers. In the Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch Jr. has sealed Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody in a chest with seven locks so that he may take his place in Hogwarts with Polyjuice. The Quidditch team also has seven players – three chasers, one Keeper, and one Seeker. Adding to this, the Chamber of Secrets’ door has seven snakes, there are seven Weasley children, and — wait, we’re catching our breaths… alright we can keep going — Ginny is also the first female Weasley to have blessed the clan in seven whole generations. Last but not least, there are seven Harry Potter books, though there are eight movies.
7. The Deathly Hallows Symbol
The Deathly Hallows symbol is shown several times throughout the franchise long before the last book mentioned them for the first time – it is shown as early as in the Goblet of Fire movie, which was released in 2005 or two years before the Deathly Hallows book was out.
8. Buckbeak takes a Poo!
The majestic Hippogriff that Harry manages to somewhat tame in the Prisoner of Azkaban can be spotted relieving itself just before it heads towards reluctant Harry. Majestic until you look closer, eh? It would make sense if this was a live animal that couldn’t exactly be aware of filming standards and just had to go, no — this is a creature entirely made of CGI, meaning someone in the writers’ room suggested that having the beautiful, magical Hippogriff having an early bathroom break was important enough to spend special effects on.
9. Trelawney Predicts Sirius’ Death
In the Prizoner of Azkaban, Trelawney refuses to sit at the table where there are twelve people already. She claims that if there are thirteen at a same table, the first person to stand up will be the first person to die. In the Order of The Phoenix, Sirius is sat at a table of precisely thirteen people and he stands up first. We all remember what happened to Sirius later on in this opus…
10. Harry & Voldemort – Midwinter Babies?
In the third movie, Trelawney predicts that Harry’s birthday is in midwinter. Although he was born in July, Voldemort however was born in midwinter, on the 31st of December 1926. This means that Trelawney could sense that Harry had a part of Voldemort in him, aka one the Horcruxes.
Find out how Fantastic Beasts connects to Harry Potter in our awesome list of Easter Eggs!
11. Hermione’s Patronus
Hermione’s Patronus which we can see a snippet of in the Order of the Phoenix movie, is an otter, an animal related to the weasel, Ron’s own Patronus. This seems to be a hint at Hermione and Ron’s future romance.
12. Chris(topher) Columbus
In the Chamber of Secrets, Nearly-Headless Nick invites Harry to his “deathday party”, which commemorates his death in 1492. The year of Nick’s death is also the year Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, which is a clever poke at the first two movie’s director Chris Columbus. Clever, ey?
13. Neville’s Character Development
A memorable scene of Neville in the Chamber of Secrets is when he passes out from the cries of the baby Mandrake, a scene that contrasts with the future – Neville eventually turns out to become a gifted herbologist and ends up teaching the subject at Hogwarts! Talk about a character development.
14. Longbottom & Lord of the Rings
Staying on Neville, the latter’s last name finds its root in J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this other massively successful franchise, a Longbottom is a region in the Shire celebrated for growing plants. Coincidence that Neville Longbottom eventually finds a lifelong passion in plants? Probably not! What an awesome reference!
15. Cheeri Owls
In the Order of the Phoenix, a box of cereals can be spotted on the breakfast table of Hogwarts’ dining room, and its name, “CHEERI OWLS” is a clever pun on a very much real brand of cereals. We’ll let you guess which one!
16. Dragons Have Rights Too!
In the ending credits of the Goblet of Fire, a special notice can be spotted that claims that “No Dragons Were Harmed In The Making of This Movie”, in case you might have feared the opposite.
17. Animated Harry Potter?
The scene in Deathly Hallows Part 1 in which Hermione tells the tale of the Three Brothers is as spell-binding as the live-action bits. It is entirely animated for our eyes’ pleasure and is easily one of the best moments of the whole franchise. What few know is that this whole animated sequence is a nod to the fact that, initially, Warner Bros was terrified of the risks a fantasy live-action franchise with such high-stakes could present for the company and hesitated to make it a CGI animated franchise instead. J.K. Rowling didn’t like this idea and the live-action option remained on the table to everyone’s advantage.
18. The Importance of 1997
The final battle between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort in Deathly Hallows Part. 2 takes places in 1997. The first book in the Harry Potter franchise was released in 1997, which means that J.K. Rowling has made her story end just as first readers would pick it up! Clever, isn’t it? And it means that Rowling also figured out the ending to Deathly Hallows before she even got started on the second opus. Talk about commitment!
19. Dobby and Winky’s Cameos
In the Goblet of Fire, Dobby and Winky make a really, really, really rapid cameo amongst the crowd of Quidditch supporters. Only if you slow down the movie’s speed by a lot, can you spot them both riding llamas.
20. That Marauder’s Map Egg
Remus, Peter, Sirius and James die in the opposite order of their nicknames as shown on the Marauder’s Map in the Prisoner of Azkaban – “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot & Prongs”, Moony being Remus, who dies in the last opus, Wormtail being Peter who dies around Deathly Hallows Part 1, Padfoot being Sirius who dies in the Order of the Phoenix, and James being the first one to die when Harry is still a baby.
21. Ron ‘Knew’ Voldermort Killed Myrtle
Ron may be the joker at times, but his words are sometimes wise (kinda). In Chamber of Secrets the famous trio find out that Tom Riddle won a special award at Hogwarts. Unaware that Tom is in fact young Voldermort, Ron jokes that he must have won the award for killing Moaning Myrtle – turns out, he’s right. Tom’s Basilisk did actually kill her! Weldone Ron!
22. Ginny and Harry’s Relationship Predicted
This Easter Egg would never have been figured out had it not been for J.K. Rowling who revealed it. During a Quidditch match, Ginny catches the Snitch instead of Cho in a match between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. According to the iconic author, this was a sign of Ginny catching Harry’s heart rather than Cho. A bit of a reach, I know.
23. Snape’s First Words have Meaning
Talk about cryptic! Remember when Snape asked Harry an awfully confusing and nonsensical question in Philosopher’s Stone? “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”, he asked. Looking deeper into the words – “Asphodel” is in fact part of the lily family and means “my regrets follow you to the grave” while “wormwood” means “absence” and symbolizes bitter sorrow. In other, much clearer words, Snape was saying “I bitterly regret Lily’s death”. #Mindblown
So there we are! 23 Harry Potter references for your consideration, and not the least surprising at that. The franchise is composed of seven books and eight movies, which means that we can only expect more and more new easter eggs to come up every year for many generations to come! What did you think? Were you already aware of these, or were you as surprised as us? Let us know in the comments!