JK Rowling is reeling as she literally just found out what inspired her to write The Deathly Hallows.

Now you’re probably thinking, “How the fudge could someone write the end of a billion-dollar-franchise without knowing what they were writing about?”

Good question, Harry.

Potter-heads are just us dumbstruck as the author herself. Because it turns out that Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows was inspired by a truly deep and very personal source.

Freemasons Secretly Inspired Harry Potter

Potterheads have long debated just what the heck inspired Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. But finally the author has learned the inspiration behind her own book.

JK Rowling was doing an interview for the BBC about a new Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library. The exhibition is called A History Of Magic.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic feat. Ripley Scroll

In the interview she was shocked as she suddenly realised—and revealed—that the Deathly Hallows was inspired by a movie she was watching when her mother, Anne Volant Rowling, passed away.

That movies was called The Man Who Would Be King. It’s a movie based on a Rudyard Kipling novel.

Released in 1975, The Man Who Would Be King is a story about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of part of Afghanistan.

The movie frequently shows the Masonic Symbol, which JK Rowling would later include in The Deathly Hallows.

The Freemasons symbol is a pyramid with an “All Seeing Eye” that reminds us of a higher power (although the freemasons are not a religious group).

The Freemasons are a fraternal group that originate in the stonemasons in the 14th century (and then went through a major rebranding in 2012).

The Freemasons have inspired many movies and TV shows

  • The Sherlock Holmes story “Murder By Decree”
  • Most of Dan Brown’s books
  • The National Treasure movies
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Hobson’s Choice
  • and Magnolia

 

Rowling gasped as she realised

JK Rowling was shocked to find that The Deathly Hallows was also inspired by Freemasons thanks to The Man Who Would Be King.

Rowling says,

“The Masonic symbol is very important in [The Man Who Would Be King]. It was literally 20 years later that I looked at the sign of the Deathly Hallows and realised how similar they were.

“When I saw the movie again and saw the Masonic symbol, I went cold all over and I thought, ‘Is that why the Hallows symbol is what it is?”

When JK Rowling first sketched Professor Sprout she heard the news that her mother had died. And at that time, she happened to be watching The Man Who Would Be King.

It was this moment that formed the inspiration for the Deathly Hallows symbol, a triangle with a circle and a line. The triangle shape represents the invisibility cloak, the circle depicts the resurrection stone and the straight line down represents the elder wand.

“The Potter series is hugely about loss,” says Rowling. “I’ve said this before – if my mother hadn’t died I think the stories would be utterly different and not what they are.”

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Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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