The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter

The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0767919440

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0767919440

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The New York Times bestseller, now fully updated to include Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Who was the real Nicholas Flamel? How did the Sorcerer’s Stone get its power? Did J. K. Rowling dream up the terrifying basilisk, the seductive veela, or the vicious grindylow? And if she didn’t, who did?

Millions of readers around the world have been enchanted by the magical world of wizardry, spells, and mythical beasts inhabited by Harry Potter and his friends. But what most readers don’t know is that there is a centuries-old trove of true history, folklore, and mythology behind Harry’s fantastic universe. Now, with The Sorcerer’s Companion, those without access to the Hogwarts Library can school themselves in the fascinating reality behind J. K. Rowling’s world of magic.

Newly updated to include Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Sorcerer’s Companion allows curious readers to look up anything magical from the Harry Potter books and discover a wealth of entertaining, unexpected information. Wands and wizards, boggarts and broomsticks, hippogriffs and herbology, all have astonishing histories rooted in legend, literature, or real-life events dating back hundreds or even thousands of years. Magic wands, like those sold in Rowling’s Diagon Alley, were once fashioned by Druid sorcerers out of their sacred yew trees. Love potions were first concocted in ancient Greece and Egypt. And books of spells and curses were highly popular during the Middle Ages. From Amulets to Zombies, you’ll also learn:
•how to read tea leaves
•where to find a basilisk today
•how King Frederick II of Denmark financed a war with a unicorn horn
•who the real Merlin was
•how to safely harvest mandrake root
•who wore the first invisibility cloak
•how to get rid of a goblin
•why owls were feared in the ancient world
•what really lies beyond the Veil
•the origins of our modern-day “bogeyman,” and more.

A spellbinding tour of Harry’s captivating world, The Sorcerer’s Companion is a must for every Potter aficionado’s bookshelf.


The Sorcerer's Companion has not been prepared, approved, or licensed by any person or entity that created, published, or produced the Harry Potter books or related properties.

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and any man who dwelt in them was assumed to be crude and brutal. A seventeenth-century philosopher contrasted “civil and rational,” city dwellers with the “irrational, untaught” inhabitants of woods and forests. (Some folks at Hogwarts seem to hold the same opinion about Hagrid, who is in many ways a creature of the forest and lives on its edge.) The forest stood for all that was strange, suspicious, and outside the boundaries of normal human experience. Indeed, the English words “foreign” and

superstition. The bad luck can be avoided, however, by burying a piece of the mirror. When a mirror falls from the wall it means someone will die soon. Mirrors should be covered during thunderstorms lest they attract lightning. Vampires and witches cast no reflections in mirrors because they have no souls. Mirrors can trap a human soul and should be covered when a person has died. A mirror that is framed only on three sides has been used by a witch to see over long distances. A baby should not be

at a distance of up to one hundred feet. Once a victim had succumbed to the fast-acting poison, the manticore was ready to get down to business. Set in each of its enormous jaws and spanning the distance from ear to ear were three rows of razor-sharp teeth, perfect for reducing its favorite dish—humans—into bite-size morsels. Good eater that it was, the manticore devoured its victims entirely, including skull, bones, clothing, and possessions. When someone vanished from a jungle village without a

India, Japan, Australia, and the Americas. Rather we have limited our focus to those aspects of lore directly related to Harry’s world. Nearly all of the magical practices taught at Hogwarts are rooted in the Western magical tradition, which emerged from the ancient empires of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome. Imaginary creatures like the centaur, the manticore, and the unicorn come from the same rich tradition. Many other magical beings, such as elves, gnomes, goblins, hinkypunks, and trolls,

concerned werewolves—men who turned into bloodthirsty wolves for short periods of time. But in parts of the world where wolves were uncommon, other were-creatures prowled the night (wer means “man” in Old English). In the Amazon there were tales of jaguar-men, in India tiger-men, in Africa hyena-men, and in other parts of the world, men were fabled to transform into coyotes, bears, jackals, crocodiles, and snakes. Many of these legends probably grew out of the rituals of tribal magicians and

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