It’s hard to not want to be a part of the Gryffindor clan: they always win the House Cup, they have a killer Quidditch team, and their common room looks to be the most inviting. A lot has gone on in the Hogwarts Gryffindor Tower. This is where Harry Potter spoke with Tom Riddle’s diary, where Harry worked to figure out the clues for the Triwizard Tournament, and ultimately the place where Harry felt at home.
And who wouldn’t in an environment like this? The Gryffindor common room is home to not only Harry but to all of his friends. This makes late-night celebrations and study sessions all the more exciting. The Gryffindor common room is the only one that viewers really get to see in full, but that doesn’t mean that all of the secrets within the dormitory have been exposed. Here are ten secrets about the Gryffindor common room.
10 Design Concept
When the Harry Potter series became destined to fit the silver screen, set designers had their work cut out for them. The Gryffindor common room, in particular, needed to have the right touch.
Set designer Stephenie McMillan said that they had wanted the common room to be in stark contrast to Harry’s cupboard under the stairs. Using J.K. Rowling’s description of the dormitory as a starting point, the design came to fruition by incorporating a homey feel. They made it appeared warm, lived-in, and overall a place where Harry would feel secure.
9 Windy Nights
Have you noticed the giant four-poster beds that the Gryffindor students get to sleep in? Their lush sleeping quarters are envious, to be sure, but there is a more practical reason for these giant beds. Since the Gryffindor common room is fixed atop one of Hogwart’s biggest towers, it stands to reason that this particular area of the castle sees some windy nights.
A description of the Gryffindor headquarters on Pottermore explains that the tapestry that surrounds these beds are incorporated to dimish that precise negative effect. Each bed has thick scarlet blankets wrapped around the poles so that Gryffindors can remain warm and cozy, even on stormy nights.
8 Boys Can’t Get Into The Girls’ Dormitory
Harry and Ron find out the hard way that it is impossible for boys to get into the girls’ dormitory. The boys try to check the girls’ dormitory in Gryffindor Tower when they are looking for Hermione. However, after just a couple steps up, the staircase magically transitions into a stone slide, causing them to slide back down into the common room.
The girl’s staircase is enchanted with what is presumed to be a Glisseo charm. This enchantment is only enforced towards the girls’ area, as Hermione has been in the boys’ dormitory on multiple occasions. According to Hogwarts, A History, the reason for this is because the founders of Hogwarts found girls to be more trustworthy than boys.
7 House Of Fire
J.K. Rowling established the fact that each Hogwarts house represents one of the four elements. Slytherin is water, Hufflepuff is earth, and Ravenclaw is air. It really only makes sense that the house of red and gold would represent fire.
Rowling’s symbolism reaches every nook and cranny in her universe, including the features of the Gryffindor common room. The room is noted to have a golden chandelier, red tapestries, and, of course, an exquisite fireplace right at its heart.
6 The Fat Lady
Gryffindor and Slytherin Houses are the only ones that require a password to enter the common room. Hufflepuffs have to tap a specific barrel in order to enter their dormitories while Ravenclaws have to solve a riddle before entering. Slytherins also have to have a password to access their common room, but Gryffindor’s is the only entrance blocked by a portrait.
The Fat Lady is extremely protective over the Gryffindor Common Room. If anyone can’t remember or loses the password (looking at you, Neville), she will make them wait for another student to arrive. She can sometimes get very cranky towards late-night stragglers and will give a stern chat to anyone caught wandering the halls after hours.
5 Sir Cadogan
In Harry’s third year, the Fat Lady had to be temporarily replaced after Sirius Black vandalized her portrait. In her place came Sir Cadogan, a hot-headed former knight who rides a pony. He guards the Gryffindor common room entrance valiantly, despite the fact that there isn’t much he could do from his position within the portrait.
His exuberance annoyed the Golden Trio, particularly Ron and Harry. Before this, Sir Cadogan could be found in the seventh-floor corridor by the Divination classroom. Sir Cadogan is also believed to have been a famous Knight of the Round Table, though he seems to have been expunged from the Muggles’ retelling of King Arthur.
4 The Floo Network
It’s well-known that Apparation can’t be achieved within the walls of Hogwarts, but apparently, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with the Floo Network. You may have noticed in the films that Harry gets a chance to talk to Sirius Black in the Gryffindor common room fireplace during the Triwizard Tournament.
This is done with the aid of Floo Powder, but instead of stepping right through into the common room, Sirius simply sticks his head in the fire in order to talk to his Godson. Makes you wonder why they choose to take the Hogwarts Express, doesn’t it?
3 Password Protected
The fact that the Gryffindor common room is password protected is not really classified information. However, what must Muggles aren’t aware of is the fact that these passwords change a lot during the course of the year.
They typically change once a quarter, meaning there are four or so new passwords each school year. Each password is completely arbitrary and will range from anything like “Banana Fritters” to “Quid Agis,” which is Latin for “How are you?”
2 Minerva McGonagall’s Portrait
If you didn’t pay attention to the decor changes in the Harry Potter films, then you may have missed this simple nod to a Gryffindor Alumni. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, one of the portraits on the wall in the Gryffindor common room is that of a young Minerva McGonagall.
The portrait shows McGonagall with her back turned, wearing a long scarlet robe. She’s holding her witch’s hat behind her back and staring down at a black cat that sits near her feet.
1 No Privacy
The Gryffindor common room may be cushy and pleasant, but there is virtually no privacy here. The central area where the students congregate is a circular room, leaving little to no alcoves for students to hide behind.
This makes it nearly impossible for couples to find alone time. This is architecture becomes more pronounced when Ron and Lavender start dating and Hermione is forced to share the Gryffindor common room with the couple.
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