“Harry had never even imagined such a strange and splendid place. It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. Professor McGonagall led the first years up here, so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them. The hundreds of faces staring at them looked like pale lanterns in the flickering candlelight. Dotted here and there among the students, the ghosts shone misty silver. Mainly to avoid all the staring eyes, Harry looked upward and saw a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars. He heard
Hermione whisper, “Its bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts, A History.” It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn’t simply open on to the heavens.” – Harry describing the Great Hall, An Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I, along with many others my age, definitely know a thing or two about the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling. Maybe, the fanaticism and enthusiasm is of different levels but I don’t know anyone, who has access to internet, that hasn’t heard the name Harry Potter.
I may have read the books around ten times since high school, and seen the movies less than that. I don’t even usually just start at book 1. I’ll pick up Goblet or Prisoner and go through a circle from there after finishing one and realizing that I. MUST. READ. EVERYTHING. AGAIN. So there’s your gauge on how much of a fanatic I am.
Imagine my excitement when we finally finalized my trip details. This was the first adventure that I bugged my boyfriend like crazy to book already. September 1 is special for the Wizarding World, a lot of friendships and first meetings happened on this day, including that of our three heroes, Harry, Ron & Hermione. This was the day of that iconic Platform 9 ¾ running through the barrier scene. So naturally, I had to visit on September 1. (Read: full fanatic mode.) To my dismay, it was fully booked so we went on August 31 instead, not bad!
A queue and a half later and we were ushered to the Great Hall. The wonder and astonishment I felt when the enormous golden doors opened must’ve been what Harry felt like. Seeing the rows of neatly placed utensils on the table, the Hogwarts crest and the costumes of some of the beloved characters, were all it took for me to start fan-girling and be emosh and wished so hard that I could stay. But alas, I was only there for a few hours, so here’s a trip down memory lane of the day I finally visited the Wizarding World (and the makings of it). I present to you The Great Hall of Hogwarts…
The Four Houses of Hogwarts represented by their respective colors and crests; Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor and my house, Hufflepuff.
This year is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone) 15th anniversary and that was emphasized by the Sorting Hat under the spotlight in the front-middle of the Great Hall. Famous for its wit and unique song every before the annual Sorting Ceremony, the Sorting Hat is also essential to Harry’s journey in Hogwarts.
“Oh, you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.”
– Sung by the Sorting Hat, An Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The faculty standing at the front of the Hall, as they greet the students (in this case, us, the guests) to another year in Hogwarts. With Dumbledore sans half-moon spectacles at the forefront, life-size mannequins molded according to their actors are dressed in their iconic clothing, hair and even accessories such as Mad Eye Moody’s all-seeing eye and broomstick.
It was very interesting to see the behind-the-scenes and making of the Great Hall and the rest of the Wizarding World, you’d see more of that in the next several posts around this Warner Brothers Tour.
So that was The Great Hall, I have 24 folders just for this tour alone… so we’ll see how many more I’ll write! Do comment if you want to see something specific and I’ll blog about it next!