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A couple nerdy things pertaining to the new Harry Potter movie:

August 2, 2009

(Don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this post)

1) Books. Whatever the movie, my eyes are instantly drawn to the books. Gandalf may be chastizing Bilbo, but all I’m looking at are the books behind them. So here I am, watching Harry Potter. Harry and Hermione are in the library, and subconsciously I’m examining the books, when I think: “wait–I know those books…” and suddenly I remember that Duke Humphrey’s Library at the Bodleian in Oxford (where I interned last year) is used as the Hogwart’s library in all of the films. Only then did I look at the rest of the library in the film–which would be the logical means of recognizing it in the first place. Anyway, I was tickled that I identified the library by its books.*

2) Tapestries. There’s a very short scene where the following tapestry is shown:

Kohleen and I looked at each other right away. This is one of the Unicorn Tapestries–the originals were woven in the late 15th century and now hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2001, West Dean college (my grad school) started the ambitious project of reproducing all 7 tapestries. The completed ones are now hanging in Stirling Castle in Scotland (and yes, I did get to see them in person). Read more about the tapestries here, and more about the West Dean / Stirling Castle weaving project here.

And those are my two nerdy things about the newest Harry Potter film.

*When I first arrived at the Bodleian, my mentor took me across the street to Duke Humphrey’s library for a private tour. She explained to me that many of the books, many of which are 500+ old, were bound at the Bodleian–and back in those days, the books had a specific hash line across the head of the spine to indicate that the books had been bound at Oxford. (I looked for a picture online, but couldn’t find one). Of course the film didn’t show the books closely enough to show the hash marks. I’m sure that the books/environment were just familiar because I’d spent a good amount of time gawking at the magnificent library and its books.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. zstitches permalink
    August 2, 2009 10:00 pm


    I *think* I remember thinking that I recognized the library because of photos you’d linked to.

  2. Laurie permalink
    August 3, 2009 5:30 am

    You are right….you are a nerd!!!

  3. Rachel K-G permalink
    August 3, 2009 8:41 pm

    I’m a nerd in that exact same way. I haven’t seen the latest Harry Potter yet, but I certainly remember being distracted from Bilbo+Gandalf’s conversation by book-ogling.

  4. the MomB permalink
    August 9, 2009 6:25 pm

    I stared at the books and the tapestry too. But I didn’t have the deep thoughts about them that you did.

  5. OhSusanna permalink
    August 15, 2009 9:59 am

    I think you rock :)

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