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  1. #1

    Founders Era

    I was just wondering what century the Founders Era was set in. 19th century? 18th century? Also if you could give a basic idea of if it was early 19th century or late 17th century it would be greatly appreciated.

    I am currently writing a Founders story and I want to get the basic jist of the time slot. Thanks!

  2. #2
    According to the Lexicon, the Founders were alive circa 1000 A.D. In fact the Lexicon has an excellent page involving all the founders. Just go to their main site, click on Wizards/Beings and under the Special Characters list choose the Hogwarts Founders icon.

    I hope their info is what you were looking for.


  3. #3
    Thanks so much! I should have gone to Lexicon straight away but I never do...oh well. It's exactly what I wanted!


    I have another question about the Founders.

    I was wondering what age they would've been at the time they founded the school. Early thirties? Late forties? In their twenties?

    Please tell me what you think!

  4. #4
    I'm going to say mid 30's to early 40's, though I have nothing from canon to back this theory up. For me it just seems more likely, mainly because that's the age group I associate with educational authority - such as a dean or principal.

  5. #5
    Thanks, that was also what I thought. But I just decided to post this to get everyone's opinions.

  6. #6
    My assumption was that the founders would have been rather different ages, since it would seem unlikely that the four greatest British witches and wizards of the time would all be within a ten year age bracket, given the length of wizarding lifespans.

    I'll give my suggestions on how old everyone was, using some relative ages simply to demostrate scale of age gaps. I'll try and back up my argument with some (very slim) logic afterwards, but none of this is taken from the books, and should be taken with a truck-load of salt.

    Salazar Slytherin - 100 years old.
    Rowena Ravenclaw - 70 years old.
    Godric Gryffindor - 50 years old.
    Helga Hufflepuff - 20 years old.

    Right, now for that slim logic.

    While he was still at Hogwarts, Slytherin created a secret chamber - housing his yadyadya... but also housing a huge statue of him "with a long thin beard that almost fell to the bottom of the wizard's sweeping stone robes". Now, making the none too massive assumptions that Slytherin neither wanted to create a statue of what he would look like eventually, or desperately wanted a beard, it seems fair to suggest that Slytherin was the proud owner of a long thin beard. That takes some growing, and even within the wizarding world we see little other than present day Dumbledore with something that long. The "thin" description also suggests thinning, and combined with the rest of Slytherin's description, I feel that suggests that it is grey, if not white. Slytherin also seems to hold what might be construed as the most traditional views, though whether they were traditional at the time is another matter.

    Slytherin, therefore, must have been old enough to own a long white beard, which makes him pretty old indeed. Or a hairy albino.

    Ravenclaw then. Firstly, I think the whole wisdom aspect of Ravenclaw could be stereotypically attributed to age. More importantly however, is the story of her daughter. Presuming that all that went on around the time of the founding, then Ravenclaw must have been old enough to have a daughter (who I would place between the ages of 20 and 30), presumeably after having enjoyed a "career" (ie, becoming known as one of the most important witches and wizards of the age).

    Ravenclaw, therefore, must have been old enough to have had an adult daughter, and given birth relatively late in life.

    Godric Gryffindor. Gryffindor always struck me as being something of a warrior, all that having a sword and so on. Assuming he formed the school during or near the end of his prime, he would need to be physically fit enough to go around wielding said sword. On the other hand, he spoke with enough authority to challenge Slytherin. I know Dumbledore can still go swimming at 150, but I picture Gryffindor a little younger. To tell you the truth, in my mind's eye he looks rather like Aragorn.

    Gryffindor, then, must be young enough to swing a sword, but old enough to challenge authority.

    Now, Helga Hufflepuff. For some reason, this is the one I feel strongest about, even though I have the least to back it up. I imagine Hufflepuff to be an extremely innocent creature, and I think where the other founders were great wizards, she was greater by the views she put forth. I imagine her being kind, and very gently persuasive. I can't really back this up any more than that.

    Hufflepuff, then, must be young enough for Keefy to have been pretty young. I'm certain of it though!

    In case you were wondering, the founders fic I was going to write would have rocked. Too epic, unfortunately, to squeeze in next to my current one.

    Hee! Some very nice theorising going on here - fabulous. 10 points.

  7. #7
    I personally disagree with the fact that the Founders were so widespread in age as AurorKeefy, mainly because it takes a great deal of co-operation to pull something as big as Hogwarts, and age difference would create a barrier. In addition, I had the impression that the Founders were not only people that worked on a same project, but were genuinely friends: I would even go so far to say as they were friends even before the idea of Hogwarts was formed (this is supported by the Sorting Hatís song; "Together we will build and teach"/The four good friends decided.) This sort of friendship is, of course, possible to maintain when the one person is a lot older, but it is much less uncommon. You donít really see 20 year olds having close friendships with 100-year-olds, no matter how much they might respect them.

    Iím not saying that older and younger people cannot create decent relationships or work together as a team, but I find that there would always be such a gap between generations and ideas that they might have not shared ďa wish, a hope, a dreamĒ, as the Sorting Hat states in its 1994 song.

    So how old were the Founders when they founded Hogwarts? Itís pretty hard to say, but I think they could be anywhere from 30 to 80, bearing in mind that Wizards seem to age differently than Muggles. I do think it is hard to start on a project as big as building a Wizarding School when one is 100, unless, of course, you are someone as wise and young at heart as Dumbledore, which I do not really see Salazar Slytherin as being. It is important to note that, younger people are often much more fiery about their ideas, in contrast with more mature individualís calm reflections, so it depends on how you see it: a spark that blazed in a couple of years, or the result of a lifetimeís research.

    Forgive me if this is too age-stereotypical, but canon-wise we donít have much else to go on but suppositions.

    Well argued! 5 points.

  8. #8
    I think Keefy has good logic about the Chamber and Slytherin, but it felt to me like the school was already standing when the Chamber was put inside it. In fact, it seemed like it was Slytherins inability to convince the others that allowing Muggleborns into the school is what prompted him to do so, right before he left. He was clearly at the school some time before that happened, although that could be as short a time as four years. The Lexicon has an essay on the Chamber here:

    There's also this information, which came directly from Professor Binns in Chamber of Secrets:

    "You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago - the precise date is uncertain - by the four greatest witches and wizards of the age. The four school Houses are named after them: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. They built this castle together, far from prying Muggle eyes, for it was an age when magic was feared by common people, and witches and wizards suffered much persecution."

    "For a few years, the founders worked in harmony together, seeking out youngsters who showed signs of magic and bringing them to the castle to be educated. But then disagreements sprang up between them. A rift began to grow between Slytherin and the others. Slytherin wished to be more selective about the students admitted to Hogwarts. He believed that magical learning should be kept within all-magic families. He disliked taking students of Muggle parentage, believing them to be untrustworthy. After a while, there was a serious argument on the subject between Slytherin and Gryffindor, and Slytherin left the school."

    "Reliable historical sources tell us this much. "But these honest facts have been obscured by the fanciful legend of the Chamber of Secrets. The story goes that Slytherin had built a
    hidden chamber in the castle, of which the other founders knew nothing."

    "Slytherin, according to the legend, sealed the Chamber of Secrets so that none would be able to open it until his own true heir arrived at the school. The heir alone would be able to unseal the Chamber of Secrets, unleash the horror within, and use it to purge the school of all who were unworthy to study magic."

    However, another thing which needs to be pointed out: Slytherin and Gryffindor were the best of friends, so they had to have been less than ten years apart in age. Same thing for Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.

    Two excerpts from the Sorting Hat:


    A thousand years or more ago
    when I was newly sewn,
    there lived four wizards of renown,
    whose names are still well known:
    bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
    fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
    sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
    shrewd Slytherin, from fen.
    They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
    they hatched a daring plan
    to educate young sorcerers
    thus Hogwarts School began.


    In times of old, when I was new,
    And Hogwarts barely started,
    The founders of our noble school
    Thought never to be parted.
    United by a common goal,
    They had the selfsame yearning

    To make the world's best magic school
    And pass along their learning.
    "Together we will build and teach"
    The four good friends decided.

    And never did they dream that they
    Might some day be divided.
    For were there such friends anywhere
    As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
    Unless it was the second pair
    Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw,
    So how could it have gone so wrong?
    How could such friendships fail?
    Why, I was there, so I can tell
    The whole sad, sorry tale.
    Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those
    Whose ancestry's purest."
    Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose
    Intelligence is surest"
    Said Gryffindor, "We'll teach all those
    With brave deeds to their name."
    Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot
    And treat them just the same."
    These differences caused little strife
    When first they came to light.
    For each of the four founders had
    A house in which they might
    Take only those they wanted, so,
    For instance, Slytherin
    Took only pure-blood wizards
    Of great cunning just like him.
    And only those of sharpest mind
    Were taught by Ravenclaw
    While the bravest and the boldest
    Went to daring Gryffindor.
    Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest
    and taught them all she knew,
    Thus, the Houses and their founders
    Maintained friendships firm and true.

    So Hogwarts worked in harmony
    for several happy years,
    but then discord crept among us
    feeding on our faults and fears.

    The Houses that, like pillars four
    had once held up our school
    now turned upon each other and
    divided, sought to rule.
    And for a while it seemed the school
    must meet an early end.
    what with dueling and with fighting
    and the clash of friend on friend.
    And at last there came a morning
    when old Slytherin departed

    and though the fighting then died out
    he left us quite downhearted.

    My personal feeling is that Slytherin and Gryffindor had to have been in their 50's-60's when the school was founded, and Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff probably at least 30, although certainly not as old as 50. The thing that even allows me to go so low in the first place is Helena Ravenclaw, who apparently attended Hogwarts, so the school was clearly running by the time she was seventeen and having her relationship with the Bloody Baron.

    Very good use of canon sources and clearly presented. 5 points.

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