Home Celebrity 'Harry Potter' Author Shares How She Created Hogwarts House Names

‘Harry Potter’ Author Shares How She Created Hogwarts House Names

J.K. Rowling refuses to stop tweeting about Harry Potter. To which we say: let her. It’s her right as the author of the most consuming literary franchise of the 21st century, sprawling from books into video games, films, online communities, theme parks, plays and more.

So learning just where and how the original inspiration sprung from Rowling’s mind remains fascinating. (However, her re-writing certain character’s fates, like suddenly deciding Albus Dumbledore was gay and that Harry and Hermione should’ve ended up together, isn’t so interesting.) Following an online conversation about the fallacies of writer’s best practices and rules for good writing, Rowling jumped in, agreeing that each writer has her own methodology.

Rowling did course-correct, admitting that she does engage in one writerly tradition: Wherever she goes, she carries a notebook around. Whenever inspiration strikes, she wants to jot it down.

Her fans responded to the author, sharing the various things they’ve written on over the years. (Personal note: I once asked a waitress at a traditional Thai restaurant for pen and paper, as random ideas were flowing through my brain.) One fan said she once wrote on spare napkins in her purse at a birthday party when inspiration struck.

This propelled Rowling to respond with her own anecdote. She admitted to once writing the names of the famous Hogwarts houses—Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw—on an airplane’s sick bag.

Just imagine how much that barf bag is worth now? One user had a witty response, saying one house’s name make sense if it was writing on the back of an airplane sick bag.

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