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Harry Potter: 12 Facts About The Hogwarts Castle The Movies Leave Out

The Harry Potter movies couldn't possibly fit in every detail, since the books have so much detail — meaning they left a lot about Hogwarts.

Harry Potter Hogwarts

The Harry Potter movies were astounding and brought even more fans into the fandom. Coming in at eight movies, a total run-time of 1,178 minutes. And that's not counting the Fantastic Beasts movies. Yet even if the movies had been twice as long, they never could have contained every detail the books revealed. There were plenty of details left out of the movies, from characters, to rules, to entire subplots.

Hogwarts is a complex and intimidating castle, at times. Yet the movies didn't even scratch the surface of what truly goes on within Hogwarts, or all of the hidden mysteries it contains.

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12 There Are 142 Staircases

And yes, all one hundred and forty-two of them move. These steps come in all varieties, from narrow to tall, and everything in between. Some of the steps vanish, as students like Neville will anxiously tell you (the poor boy never did master memorizing which ones to skip).

The movement of the staircases is somewhat less predictable than the movies indicated. Which is probably saying something. The stairs move around, sometimes up and sometimes down. Some of the stairs will change their destination entirely on certain days of the week.

11 The Doors Are Just as Tricky

The doors at Hogwarts are probably almost as difficult to navigate as the stairwells. We're well aware of doorways to the student dormitories. Or at least, to a couple of them. The Fat Lady requires a password, and she's not the only one. The entrance to the headmaster's office will only open if you know the password. Granted, guessing the password while Dumbledore was in office wasn't the most difficult of tasks.

Other doors at Hogwarts may require a riddle to be answered, a song to be sung, or a tickle in the right spot. For example, the kitchens at Hogwarts are hidden behind a stiff life painting of a bowl of fruit. If you tickle the pear in the bowl, you'll be granted entrance.

10 The Student Dormitories

Ravenclaw common room in the Harry Potter game

The Fat Lady is one of four doors that lead to the student dormitories. The Slytherin common rooms are hidden behind a door that appears to be a wall, and a password is required to get through. The Ravenclaw doorway requires the answer to a riddle. Meanwhile, the Hufflepuff door is probably one of the more unique entryways. It's hidden near the kitchens, in a hallway where you will find a bunch of barrels lined up. If you tap the correct barrel to the right rhythm, you'll be allowed inside. As for inside the dormitories, we've seen plenty of the Gryffindor common rooms, as well as hints for the Slytherin and Ravenclaw ones. What the movies didn't get a chance to show us is that the Slytherin dormitories reside partially under the lake at Hogwarts. That's the true reason for the eerie glow within the rooms – all the light coming in the windows is first filtered through the lake itself.

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The Ravenclaw dormitories are in one of the towers, just like Gryffindor. It's the most open of the four, sporting lots of verandas and windows. It also has a large library – unsurprisingly. Meanwhile, Hufflepuff dormitories are near the kitchens, as mentioned earlier. While it is in the basement, it is described as feeling warm and sunny, with lots of bright light and a welcoming feel. Adorably, the common rooms are full of potted plants.

9 Tricks and Tracking

gryffindor common room

There are plenty of tricks hidden within Hogwarts to ensure that students behave and are safe. For example, did you know that if a boy tries to enter the girls' dormitories, the stairs will turn into slides and promptly eject the boys? The same is not true for the reverse – girls are free to enter the boys' dormitories as they please.

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There are plenty of other tricks around that keeps the students behaving, but we've yet to see all of them yet.

8 The Castle is in Scotland

Hogwarts Grounds in Scotland

Not many know the exact location of Hogwarts, and there's a reason for it. Hogwarts has dozens upon dozens of spells protecting the location of the school. Some of the spells were designed with the intent of protecting the students, while others were designed to keep muggles away. It's unlikely that Hogwarts will ever appear on any map, and interesting things would likely occur if a satellite tried to take an image of the area – though it probably wouldn't get the image it wanted.We do know that Hogwarts resides somewhere in Scotland, but not much else. It does help to keep the mystery alive, not knowing the exact location of the school.

7 Technology Won't Work

Thanks to all the protective spells cast on the castle, no muggle technology will work on the school grounds. This is the reason why students don't have phones or laptops, a fact that would surely be lamented in today's day and age – even by witches and wizards.

It does seem that simpler forms of technology will work, as evidenced by Colin Creevey's old fashioned camera. But even that was likely pushing it. Magical equivalents of technology are safe though, such as the cameras and radios used by witches and wizards.

6 Hogwarts Regenerates

Voldemort and Harry battle among the ruins at Hogwarts

This may seem extraordinary, but what is Hogwarts, if not exactly that? Hogwarts has the ability to regenerate and heal. Normally this fact doesn't seem like a major deal, as the school doesn't come up against anything too destructive. Assuming of course that students don't make mistakes when learning their spells...

Hogwarts was most notably damaged at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. During which the Battle of Hogwarts occurred. Much of the castle was damaged or destroyed during this battle. Yet the school did in fact repair itself, just not immediately so. We're sure that Filch appreciated this fact!

5 There Are Over 20 Ghosts

Did you know that there's more than just the four House Ghosts? Moaning Myrtle, Nearly Headless Nick and the Bloody Baron are probably the most notable from the movies. The other two House Ghosts are The Grey Lady and The Fat Friar.One of the ghosts left out actually plays a significant role in Hogwarts student's daily (or perhaps weekly) lives. The history of magic professor, Professor Cuthbert Binns, is in fact a ghost himself. It's joked that one day he got up and went to teach, but had left his body behind.

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Another notable figure that was left out isn't quite a ghost, but he's close enough to be included here. Peeves the Poltergeist did not make it into the movies. A fact that many Harry Potter fans lament. Peeves was a nuisance frequently, but he played a major role during Umbridge's tyranny in Hogwarts.

4 The House Elves

Pottermore Hogwarts House Elves

The House Elf staff was brought to Hogwarts during the time of the four founders. Helga Hufflepuff herself brought them on board, which may surprise fans. However, she did it with the intent of creating a sanctuary for the elves.

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The elves play a crucial role for the castle. They clean, move the furniture around for students, and prepare all of the food. They also have no interest in receiving payment for their work, with the exception of Dobby that is.

3 The School Motto

Did you know that Hogwarts had a school motto? It's hard to believe, we know. But it's true! The school motto is “Draco dormiens nunquam titllandu” which translates to “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.”

It sounds a little silly, out of context. But this is Hogwarts we're talking about, so we're sure it made perfect sense to the founders.

2 The Book of Admittance

The Book of Admittance and the Quill of Acceptance are two very powerful magical artifacts. Together they track and write down magical students. They will only add a student once it is clear that they have significant magical strength – the school's way of preventing squibs from being put on the roster.

Both items are hidden within one of the towers at Hogwarts. It is not an area that students are allowed to go. And if we're being honest, it's one of the few rules that Harry didn't break during his time there.

1 Hogwarts is Sentient

Hogwarts Castle at night

Sometimes it seems like Hogwarts has a mind of its own. And that's probably because, in a way, it does. Hogwarts is fully capable of making decisions for itself, and has happily done so when given the opportunity.

For example, once Umbridge successfully ousted Dumbledore, the Headmaster's Office sealed up and would not open for her. It didn't matter what spell or command she used, as far as the school was concerned, she was not the headmaster, and thus didn't have the right to enter.

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