Mail Bag: How About a Book on the Meaning of Spells?

On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM, KR wrote:

Just a suggestion but what if you put together a book on all the spells from Harry Potter and all their meanings… Kind of like a dictionary for spells from the Saga. Thanks for the explanations and ideas. Keep writing and keep smiling.

Best regards,

Your fan,


Dear KR,

Thank you for this suggestion!

Three quick thoughts:

I have five book irons in the fire already and I’m making little progress on any of them. I fall over unconscious with the idea of beginning another…

There are many resources online, free, of various qualities, all of which cover nearly every spell in canon. I think they could be much improved, you’re right, but this resource and the lack of any perceived need that it isn’t doing the job of exegesis, makes it a vain project to fill that need.

Ms Rowling revealed in her court testimony during the copyright battle a few years ago that she has taken her meanings not only from conventional Latin, classical and Medieval, but from such random sources as African magic. This being the case, an interpreter of spells would have to be a reader of her mind, a creature of super-encyclopeadic knowledge or both to take on this task, especially as Ms Rowling’s promised Encyclopeadia, the Scottish book, and her Pottermore work promise eventually to cover this base.

But thank you for thinking of me!



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