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Real Life Myths That Inspired ‘Harry Potter’

As a child, if you haven’t read the Harry Potter series at first, then you can easily miss all the referenced made by J.K. Rowling. If you link together the whole book, it becomes a dense read but reading the series as an adult gives you an opportunity to enjoy all the mythological referenced pinned together in the series. Being a graduate in Classics, it is easy to figure out where Rowling got all the names and symbols. The author of the Harry Potter series was also inspired from the stories all over the world. Below are some myths about the series.


J.K. Rowling referenced Christianity in the series.

The author of the series referenced Christianity more often and it was a surprise for all those who remembered all the educational institutes which banned Harry Potter as according to them the series was promoting witchcraft. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” which is the 7th book of the series, exhibit it more openly.

There are many people who picked up Harry’s journey as Christ-like. During his journey, Harry ended the death run and went alone to the Forbidden Forest and then sacrificed himself. Then he defeats the evil after returning from the death and protects his loved ones.


The name of the Charm was referenced from Greek mythology.

In the Harry Potter, a Protean Charm was used to communicate with the members of the Army. Each time, Harry updated the coin, a fake Galleon owned by every member of the Dumbledore’s Army is transfigured. This helps in communicating with each other and update everyone about the next meeting.

Proteus – the name of the Charm – came from a Greek mythology figure. Poseidon – who was a servant of Poseidon – could tell anything from past and the present. Proteus was frustrated with the endless questions of the people and that’s why he often transformed to any animal to avoid the questions. The word “protean” means the ability to change quickly.


Veela were derived from the legends of Central Europe.

Those who watched the movie won’t know much about Veela but those who have read the book would know her. She was first introduced in “Goblet of Fire” and they are supposed to be very beautiful women but turned to a deadly creature when they got angry.

The author of Harry Potter pulled Veela from Central Europe and they looked as beautiful as presented by the series. But many locals reported that Veela were the souls of unbaptized women who stuck on earth. Don’t make a mistake to anger Veela, otherwise, you will die quickly. However, if you are kind to them, they are supposed to marry humans.


The name of “The Weird Sisters” was taken from the Shakespear play “Macbeth”.

The Weird Sister is a rock band of the Harry Potter Series and unlike the name of the band, all the members of the band are men. The name of the band came from “Macbeth”, a play of Shakespear. In that play, Shakespear used the word “The Weird Sisters” for three witches.

J.K. Rowling herself admitted that Macbeth was her one of the favorite plays and one can imagine why she used “The Weird Sisters”  in Harry Potter.


The name of Hermoine was referenced from “The Winter’s Tale”, a play of Shakespear.

The uniqueness of Hermione name was so much that many fans weren’t able to pronounce it before the movie released. But some hardcore Potter fans would know the reference where that name came from.

J.K. Rowling many times said in interviews that she took Hermione name from another Shakespear’s play “The Winter’s Tale”. Hermione is derived from Hermes which means the messenger of God.


The name of Nagini was referenced from Hinduism.

As every Harry Potter fan knows that Nagini was the name of Voldemort’s snake. Even before he completely transformed his body, Nagini was always on the side of his owner. Everything in Harry Potter has a reference so is the name of Nagini. The word “Naga ” means snake in Hinduism and Sanskrit.

Many legends reported that nagas are underground creatures and possess a lot of power. According to another legend, Naga also protected Buddha from a storm.





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