I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Did I wait for my Hogwarts letter to arrive on my eleventh birthday? Yes. Am I kind of mad it still hasn’t arrived yet? Yes.
I think one of the things I love the most about this series is how much J.K. Rowling thought through and planned these books. I mean, there’s a scene in the fifth book where Harry, Hermione, Sirius, and the Weasleys find a locket that can’t be opened, which ends up being the Horcrux Harry and his friends need to find in the seventh book. It’s such a small, minor detail, but she tied it all together.
I had read somewhere that Rowling got a lot of her inspiration for spells and names of the characters in Harry Potter from the Latin language. Like Lupin’s name came from the Latin word lupus, meaning wolf. So one day I randomly decided to look up what the name Phineas meant. I was curious as to why she would give Sirius’s ancestor, Phineas Nigellus Black, that name; was it random or on purpose? Well, apparently “Phineas” is a Hebrew name meaning “oracle,” and Phineas Nigellus Black was the painting that gave information and advice to Harry when Harry was in 12 Grimmauld Place (or when Phineas Nigellus was in Hermione’s purse in book seven), acting like an oracle.
Then, randomly, I ended up on Google translate, and decide to type in “avada kedavra,” the killing curse. Now, I was assuming it was going to be Latin for something. Except it’s not. According to Google, it’s Estonian meaning “forbidden curses.” Seriously. J.K. Rowling is familiar with the Estonian language (she might not be, but this lady is so seriously smart and talented, I would not put it past her for knowing Estonian). On a side note, I did read that she came up with the term avada kedavra as a play on “abracadabra” and something about using Greek spellings (I kind of skimmed that part of the article…) but what are the chances it means “forbidden curses” in Estonian when in fact avada kedavra is the most forbidden curse in Harry Potter. My mind is blown and now I kind of want to have tea with Ms. Rowling and discuss how awesome she is…
If I discover anymore mind blowing facts, as I no doubt probably will, I’ll share.