Harry Potter and the full moon

Does it surprise anyone that the full moon plays a part in the Harry Potter novels, the most popular fantasy stories of these days. This appears to be quite natural midst all the magic. Are there differences between the individual volumes? What other connections are there with the full moon? And: Which of the performers may have possibly been born on the full moon? These questions occupied us and brought forward some astonishing details.

Initially, we searched through the texts of all seven Harry Potter books and counted how often the word »full moon« appeared. We found 13 places altogether.

1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone: 0 x full moon
2) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: 1 x full moon
3) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: 2 x full moon
4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: 0 x full moon
5) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: 5 x full moon
6) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 4 x full moon
7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: 1 x full moon

As example, we extract a part in the 5th volume (page 560 of the English edition), where Ron Weasley encounters a wizard from the Middle Ages. He is of the opinion that Ron’s freckles are an illness and suggests the following therapy:

»… the only remedy is to take the liver of a toad, bind it tight about your throat, stand naked at the full moon in a barrel of eels’ eyes …«

It is noticeable that the author Joanne K. Rowling lets the full moon appear less frequent in the first volumes compared to the last three volumes. It is also very interesting, in this context, that the full moon appears in the English original text once less (13 times) than in the German edition (14 times). The part where the texts differ can be found in volume III (EN page 384; DE page 369). Might the German translator Klaus Fritz have added the full moon? It strikes us to be more probable that the word was contained in the original text by Rowling, then got edited and this change has not been considered anymore in the German version.

Back to the content: also for Professor Lupin, a teacher for the defense against the dark arts, the full moon plays a vital role, as he thereby transforms into a werewolf against his will. Here, the boggarts appear, beings that always change into what you fear most. And because Professor Lupin is mostly afraid of the full moon, the boggarts turn into the full moon, which was portrayed quite impressively in the movie (part III).

We have also had a further look at all the novel characters, where birth dates are known and there you go: Bull’s eye with the birth date of Ron – on Saturday, 1st March 1980 was full moon: Ronald Bilius Weasley (* 01.03.1980).

Where else are connections to the full moon? The movie »Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II« has been released in many countries on 15th July 2011, a full moon day. Generally, the full moon features quite often in the Harry Potter movies, equally on movie posters and pictures. Maybe one or the other reader or fan might have further information with regard to this – we are happy about any comments!

The full moon remains to be an established symbol to represent mysticism and mystery. Whether Joanne K. Rowling specifically applied it, remains elusive, it is at least probable that she did not leave this to chance.

We would like to particularly thank our Harry Potter expert Colin M. Gilbert (9), who studied and browsed through the individual volumes with great perseverance.

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