INSPIRATIONS FOR FICTIONAL WORLDS
>Notes on the world of Hogwarts created by J.K Rowling, portrayed in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone<<
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (and the Wizarding World)
- School located in Hogwarts Castle in the Highlands of Scotland – in the mountains near a narrow arm of the sea.
- The castle itself is grand and looks like something from the mid-evil era with nothing inside resembling the present time outside the world of Hogwarts.
- The ‘Great Hall’ where the children and staff members meet looks like a room for great banquets in ancient times.
- The school covers an extensive amount of ground with moving staircases that move around in the grand castle on top of massive rocks over a huge lake. Some of the rooms are known to change and move around also and the structure alone is able to repair itself due to magic.
- The people in the paintings move and speak and there is countless number of rooms and chambers in the castle and dungeon and secret passages beneath the castle.
- Courtyards and greenhouses with flowerbeds and vegetable patches
- the castle is surrounded by forestry and hills
- The school is ‘unplottable’ (term coined for the world of Harry Potter) meaning that this location is concealed and hidden from known maps of the area by the use of magic.
- The school’s landscape includes gardens of flowerbeds and vegetables
- All wizarding school’s locations are hidden this way to prevent their practices and teachings from getting out into the normal world. The schools are protected by magic in making them appear like abandoned old castles to normal humans who do not have magical abilities.
- The School of Hogwarts was established in the 10th century
- Students are children with magical abilities who are enrolled at birth
- Harry lives in London but there are ways into the wizard world in odd places in real time London.. e.g. a brick wall behind a pub shifts and makes way for Diagon Alley through unexplained magic.
- The buildings and shops in Diagon Alley are old fashioned and seem wonky and slightly whimsical in their appearance.
- There is a lot of cobble, stone, sandstone and brickwork amongst the green backdrop of the Highlands within the schools and the shops.
- Creatures like goblins are smart and work in the bank and elderly and dressed smartly
- The common people in this world wear cloaks and pointed hats and that are dark colours or neutral tones like the the setting
- Owls, bats and other animals native to this world
J.K ROWLING’S INSPIRATIONS
- Rowling inspired by the working class environment she grew up in
- She grew up in the west country near a forest that she references in her Harry Potter universe
- Many of the things described in her stories are a reconstruction of places in England where she is from i.e. the ancient buildings, the castles and woods in the area she lived
- On a train trip to London the idea comes to her of the story of a ‘boy wizard who doesn’t know he is a Wizard, goes to Wizard school’ i.e. the characters, naming the school, etc. all these ideas just kept coming into her head
- King’s Cross (an inner city area of London) where there is a major railway station where her parents met – a romanticized place for her as this was where her parents met and developed her love for trains thus inspiring her idea for the use of trains and incorporation King’s cross train station as the device to travel into the world of Hogwarts
- She wanted the entrances (brick wall in King’s Cross at platform 9 and ¾) between these worlds to be based on the amount of knowledge and confidence a person had to run at this barrier
- Some of the dark and depressing times Rowling went through inspired the scary or fictional creatures in her stories
- Some folklore used for the logistics of the magic used in the HP universe
- Inspiration for Real World in story: ‘
K Road’ a.k.a ‘Karangahape Road’ in Auckland.
K road is a street I frequently come across in my travels to university in the Auckland CBD and plays a huge part in the partying night life of Aucklanders. There are prostitutes that can be seen waiting on the corners mostly at night, and the street is riddled with op shops, dairies, restaurants and bars, night/strip clubs and adult toy shops. Despite the vibrancy of the nightlife with the neon signs and costumes of entertainers, the street itself looks very worn out and distressed with age and vandalism. I’ve always been intrigued by the upstairs apartments above many of the shops and the explicitness of the street alone that it made me realise how far from child friendly it is and wonder what it would be like for a child to live there.
- KODOMI (kaw-daw-me): the name itself I derived from the Japanese word ‘Kodomo’ meaning children. I liked the sound of it and wanted the name of this world to literally be a children’s world.
-Buildings or other physical Features
Inspiration: I was inspired by Silo Park at the Auckland viaduct. It’s a place where my friends, family and frequently visit to hangout. It’s so child friendly among a buzzing CBD and a space where families and people often come together. Though only minutes away from K Rd I feels like it is a million miles away in terms of the sort of atmosphere it harbours. The playgound there is somewhat whimsical and big enough for adult children like myself to enjoy. I imaginne a potential theme park being built here because of the awesome space and sort of blank canvas that it is. It is for this reason that this place serves as my main inspiration for the world of Kodomi.
Kodomi is city that resembles an amusement park. The rides and attractions are all there for the amusemennt of the muffies and operate on their joy. I was inspired by my first encounter I had with an amusement park which was the Easter Show held in the ASB showgrounds in Auckland. The excitement of the rides and grandeur, the atmosphere was europhic from what I remember. Although it almost seems like more of a playground for adults for safety reasons I wanted the fun of amusement parks to be a way of life in a world. Where there is no end to the fun.
-The Flora and Fauna
The flora and fauna to resemble that of the rare everyday kind that the average person encounters everyday. But they are confined to a one house like an attraction in this carnival world to be enjoyed by everyone in the midst of all the metal and steele of the rides and artificial like colours of the park.
-The Main Intelligent Inhabitants
Muffies: Stuffed animals
Growing up I had a stuffed polar bear that could be flipped inside out into a pillow. It is the one toy from my childhood that I remember most as I often neglected it but yet it always brought me comfort to have whenever I was upset or tired. I wanted to draw on the cuteness of stuffed animals and how the harshest or most dangerous creatures are made harmless when they are soft and cuddly.
Emogs: The Emogs was inspired by King Solomon in the Bible, particularly in the book of Ecclesiastes where the King thought everything in the world was pointless and too much knowledge without understanding was a great burden. The Emogs are a metaphor for the great responsibility that comes with baring knowledge, the feeling of hopelessness to a state of bitterness as a result -personified. Their movement and entire demeanor is meant to literally resemble that of someone who is being weighed down by their burdens.
-Government System, rules/laws
I like the idea of equality but a character like the one of Jesus from the Bible also stuck with me becasue although he was suppose to be a Messiah or leader he still lived among the people and wanted to be treated equally when he had the choice not to. It’s that level of humbleness that inspires the character of the Wizelle (the wise leader of Wizelle) who is the only muffy with the ability to handle all the knowledge in the dangers of their world, alone.
-History, Customs, Culture
I just wasn’t interested in applying any sort of politics here. Kodomi is suppose to be a place of harmony – some type of Utopia where class systems do not exist.
Clothing for transportation devices between worlds inspired through the feeling of wearing a pear of sunglasses and feeling like the world looks either muted or even sharper in colour. Entertaining the idea of seeing the world through different eyes led to the idea of being totally transported there and eventually have the concept apply to wearable items from the world of Kodomi being able to serve as a portal.
Bloomberg (2015, February 2). J.K. Rowling: Creating Harry Potter’s Fantasy Empire [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2adjz-KG9Y
Etiqamarela (2009, February 18). J K Rowling on how she created Harry Potter [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDhtJU7uLrQ
The Places That Inspired JK Rowling | Kidsreads. (2014). Kidsreads.com. Retrieved 13 March 2017, from http://www.kidsreads.com/blog/2014/07/21/the-places-that-inspired-jk-rowling