Thursday, July 28, 2011

Regarding Harry

It's hard to believe that I have been in London for three weeks and have written or edited nearly 40 blog entries without mentioning Harry Potter once.

It's probably because I'm trying not to focus on Harry too much, seeing as I haven't watched the last movie yet. Mostly because I don't think Ryan has forgiven me yet for seeing Order of the Phoenix without him in 2007. So while my fellow classmates managed to sneak in a showing here in London, I've been holding out.

But there are lots of Harry Potter sites here to tide me over. While Ryan was here, we accidentally stumbled on the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premier in Trafalgar Square on July 7.  More accurately, I was seriously irritated by the line of people camped out for the 3,000 tickets to watch the stars and the premier.

The bulk of the crowd can't been seen in this shot, but I think they had already distributed the tickets by this point.

Not really sure why she was there then.

We saw the Great Hall at Christ Church in Oxford that served as the inspiration for Hogwarts' dining hall. The movie scenes weren't actually filmed in the hall because the logistics wouldn't work. So the filmmakers created a set to use instead. You can definitely see similarities though.

The Great Hall at Christ Church.
Hogwarts' Great Hall as seen in The Chamber of Secrets. Photo courtesy of All Movie 

The staircase at Christ Church also plays a role in the movies. Or more accurately, the landing you can't really see very well in my picture. Can anybody pinpoint the scene?

Staircase to the Great Hall at Christ Church in Oxford.

Also at Oxford, the Bodleian Library's Divinity School was a setting for two completely different scenes in HP movies. It was fitted as both the infirmary -- which made multiple appearances due to our brave trio's many brushes with death -- and as the location for Ron's dancing lesson in Goblet of Fire.

The Divinity School at the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

Ron and Professor McGonagall in The Goblet of Fire.
Photo by Murray Close, courtesy of All Movie

St. Paul's Cathedral doesn't allow pictures, but this geometric staircase was featured in The Prisoner of Azkaban. What purpose did it serve?

Photo of St. Paul's geometric staircase courtesy of the BBC.

Australia House serves as a stand-in for a very important place in the last film and a couple of others. Amusing anecdote alert: a group of us got lost one day and came across this building and, oddly, we all felt like we recognized it. A tour guide told us why a few days later -- we had all seen its digital duplicate. Do you know what it is?

Australia House. Photo courtesy of Paul in London via Flickr.

On the way to the Globe Theatre, we walked across the Millennium Bridge. You may remember it as the bridge that the Death Eaters snap at the opening of The Half-Blood Prince movie.

 Scene featuring the Millennium Bridge in the Half-Blood Prince. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Millennium Bridge looking much less ominous
after we safely crossed it.

On Thursday, we visited the King's Cross St. Pancras tube station. It houses the "entrance" to Platform 9 3/4,  ready and waiting for tourist photos. Like mine.

The platform was recently moved from its rightful spot between platforms 9 and 10 to outside the tube station. It might be because of construction, or it might be because of the sheer annoyance of dealing with people like me.

People waiting for their turn to take a photo at Platform 9 3/4.

So there's a quick tour of Harry Potter's Britain. The sites are so popular that there are several tours devoted to them exclusively. You can Google "Harry Potter tours" to find out more.


  1. the sign says "No. 1 Fan"...yes?

  2. That would make more sense. I thought it said "Not a fan" -- as in, I'm going to stand here and try to get on TV.