Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Number of students at Hogwarts

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Clone Club Hufflepuff
    Unspeakable
    Ultimate Chess
    Padfoot11333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    On the other side of the galaxy
    Posts
    364

    Number of students at Hogwarts

    Hi,

    I was wondering how many students are technically at Hogwarts. It's kind of a contreversial topic.

    ~There are about 5 boys and 5 girls in Gryffindor in Harry's year, making 40 students a year. Multiply that by 7 and you end up with 280 students total.

    ~However during Quidditch matches it's described as to be '200 students supporting Slytherin' and we know Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were supporting Gryffindor.

    ~The train is always almost completely full and it's understood to be a giant train.

    ~The sorting takes time to complete, but not _that_ much time or no time at all.


    Therefore, I was wondering how many students could actually be found at Hogwarts. Was Harry's year and the years surrounding it exceptionally small because of the Great Wizarding War? Did Harry _never_ mention the other 20 people in his class?


    Curious,


    Lily
    Lily Writes ♥ piningwillow Blogs ♥ @lilysinsistence Tweets



    banner by theopaleye | avi by me

  2. #2
    JoshB
    Guest
    This has to be one of the biggest plot holes in the story. The castle is obviously massive, each subject has its own corridor (the Charms Corridor etc.) yet there's only one teacher ever named for each of the subjects and the classes are taken with two houses at a time, essentially half the year group. On the other hand the Gryffindor common room is often described as being full, so it must be expanded/more rooms revealed if there are normally more students there.

    It's mentioned that Molly and Arthur got married very quickly because of The First War, however I imagine although more people were marrying, fewer people were having children during the war for reasons of security and so on: when Sirius escapes we hear people saying they won't let their children outside - obviously the fear of dark wizards attacking children was great.

    I imagine that Harry's generation was a particularly low one for Hogwarts population, the majority of the characters are only-childs after all. I think it's safe to put the number between 800-1000, that gives around 100-150 students in each year.

  3. #3
    LittleJM
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshB View Post
    I imagine that Harry's generation was a particularly low one for Hogwarts population, the majority of the characters are only-childs after all. I think it's safe to put the number between 800-1000, that gives around 100-150 students in each year.
    Although I agree with your earlier logic, 100-150 students in a sorting ceremony would still take much longer than the time that is implied in the books. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and Hermione missed the Sorting, because McGonagall called them into her office. McGonagall exchanges a few brief words with Harry over the dementors then sends Harry into the hall to wait for Hermione, in which "[he] went back into the corridor with Madam Pomfrey, who left for the hospital wing, muttering to herself. He had to wait only a few minutes..." (Prisoner of Azkaban, pg. 90, American ed.).

    With the time implied, this would mean that the Sorting had taken place in less than 20 minutes (including the final students entering the hall, the Sorting song, and the actual Sorting).

    Of course, JK Rowling has stated herself that the student body is large, so I believe that the most we can do is follow the examples of Sorting given in the books.

  4. #4
    JoshB
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleJM View Post
    Although I agree with your earlier logic, 100-150 students in a sorting ceremony would still take much longer than the time that is implied in the books. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and Hermione missed the Sorting, because McGonagall called them into her office. McGonagall exchanges a few brief words with Harry over the dementors then sends Harry into the hall to wait for Hermione, in which "[he] went back into the corridor with Madam Pomfrey, who left for the hospital wing, muttering to herself. He had to wait only a few minutes..." (Prisoner of Azkaban, pg. 90, American ed.).

    With the time implied, this would mean that the Sorting had taken place in less than 20 minutes (including the final students entering the hall, the Sorting song, and the actual Sorting).

    Of course, JK Rowling has stated herself that the student body is large, so I believe that the most we can do is follow the examples of Sorting given in the books.
    I'd never considered the sorting before, that's a valuable point.

    As I said, I think the years around Harry must have been particularly low on students. Although you are correct, the sorting is very quick in the few times we hear about it, if you take that as evidence then you're disregarding the incredibly vast size of the castle.

    There are a couple of options:
    • Harry and the few years around him have very few pupils because of the war but normally they're a lot bigger.
    • Just Harry's year is small and the others are large.
    • The castle is dramatically over sized and there are in fact normally only a few hundred pupils.
    The first one doesn't really make sense, as it'd have been the years *above* Harry that would have been smaller, the ones after him i.e. the ones being sorted throughout his time, would have been much bigger.

    The second one falls short because of the sorting, but that could be quite a quick process and it's drawn out/shortened depending on how many people there are. Remember that it seemed a long time to Harry but in actual fact it could have only been a few seconds he had the hat on.

    The third one is the one most supported by canon. It's just very unlikely and rather dull.

    There is a possibility, of course, that we only meet half of Harry's year but then we're still left with the problems that the classes are taken two houses at a time, which would result in a very large number of students, and the common room is often described as full.

    I think it's safest and most accurate to assume that the school was built for many more students, there was just a little blip around the Trio era.

  5. #5
    psijupiter
    Guest
    I think it's safest and most accurate to assume that the school was built for many more students, there was just a little blip around the Trio era.
    I don't know if there is any evidence to support this at all (probably not!) but perhaps Durmstrung and Beaubaxtons are much newer schools than Hogwarts and originally Hogwarts was built to accomodate magical children from across Europe as well?

    The first one doesn't really make sense, as it'd have been the years *above* Harry that would have been smaller, the ones after him i.e. the ones being sorted throughout his time, would have been much bigger.
    Actually, I imagine that all the years around Harry's year would be much smaller because of the number of deaths in Harry's parent's generation. That would affect the number of children born for the whole of Harry's generation. Given that so many died in the second war, it may not be until the Next Gen kids become parents that the number of students starts to return to what it would 'normally' be.

  6. #6
    JoshB
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by psijupiter View Post
    I don't know if there is any evidence to support this at all (probably not!) but perhaps Durmstrung and Beaubaxtons are much newer schools than Hogwarts and originally Hogwarts was built to accomodate magical children from across Europe as well?
    It doesn't matter at all if it was built for the whole of Europe or just Britain, my point is that it was built for many more students than it currently holds.

    Actually, I imagine that all the years around Harry's year would be much smaller because of the number of deaths in Harry's parent's generation. That would affect the number of children born for the whole of Harry's generation. Given that so many died in the second war, it may not be until the Next Gen kids become parents that the number of students starts to return to what it would 'normally' be.
    Not really, if you think about the post-WW2 baby boom (which happened in many countries) and compare it to that, the number of children born probably greatly increased after the war. I'm not sure how many wizards were actually killed, but I imagine most of them were older and not going to have children anyway.

    The classes being taken by two houses at a time doesn't result in a large number of students – that would mean that the students multiply by taking classes with other houses. If anything, it means that the teachers have less hours per week. And when you think about it – they have 2x5 lessons (five years, two houses per lesson) and then 1x2, that's twelve lessons a week if they ONLY had one lesson of each subject with each year per week. But assuming that they have double periods, or that they have Transfiguration on Mondays and Wednesdays, that gives McGonagall 24 lessons a week that she needs to teach, plus HoH duties and so on. And that's only if we assume that they share all their classes with another house. If they don't, then that makes 48 lessons per week, and I'm not sure they can do that to their teachers. So if anything, I'd guess that they share classes not because there are so many students, but because the teachers otherwise would just have too much work to do.
    Taking lessons with another house proves there are less students. If two houses take a lesson at the same time that's half the year group. I could see how in HoM you could teach 50 students at a time, but there's no way subjects like Potions or Herbology could be studied with one teacher in classes larger than 20 something. The Qudditch lessons in the first year are taught two houses at a time with only one teacher, how could that possibly happen with a large class? There is only one teacher per subject, if there were that many students, why not have more teachers?

    Also, though, we never see them having Charms or Transfiguration with other houses until the NEWT years, when all the houses are put together. The practical classes, like Herbology, CoMC, and Potions are the ones that they share. The one thing that we hear about them sharing classes is when Luna says something about Ginny telling off two boys in Charms, or something like that, but that could have meant outside the classroom, too. I always somehow regarded Transfiguration and Charms as too complicated to teach it to a large group...
    Exactly, so you need very small class sizes for those types of subjects, but you still need small ones for the others. In British schools you will rarely find more than 25 people in a class, thirty at most.

  7. #7
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    First Brush With A Dementor

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    903
    but then we're still left with the problems that the classes are taken two houses at a time, which would result in a very large number of students
    The classes being taken by two houses at a time doesn't result in a large number of students – that would mean that the students multiply by taking classes with other houses. If anything, it means that the teachers have less hours per week. And when you think about it – they have 2x5 lessons (five years, two houses per lesson) and then 1x2, that's twelve lessons a week if they ONLY had one lesson of each subject with each year per week. But assuming that they have double periods, or that they have Transfiguration on Mondays and Wednesdays, that gives McGonagall 24 lessons a week that she needs to teach, plus HoH duties and so on. And that's only if we assume that they share all their classes with another house. If they don't, then that makes 48 lessons per week, and I'm not sure they can do that to their teachers. So if anything, I'd guess that they share classes not because there are so many students, but because the teachers otherwise would just have too much work to do.

    Also, though, we never see them having Charms or Transfiguration with other houses until the NEWT years, when all the houses are put together. The practical classes, like Herbology, CoMC, and Potions are the ones that they share. The one thing that we hear about them sharing classes is when Luna says something about Ginny telling off two boys in Charms, or something like that, but that could have meant outside the classroom, too. I always somehow regarded Transfiguration and Charms as too complicated to teach it to a large group...
    This completely gorgeous banner, which makes me happier than a squirrel, was made by Hokey

  8. #8
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    First Brush With A Dementor

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    903
    Taking lessons with another house proves there are less students.
    That's where you confused me, since in your last post, you stated the exact opposite. Feels like we're talking about the same thing, really.
    This completely gorgeous banner, which makes me happier than a squirrel, was made by Hokey

  9. #9
    JoshB
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Karaley Dargen View Post
    That's where you confused me, since in your last post, you stated the exact opposite. Feels like we're talking about the same thing, really.
    Okay, as simply as I can. The Hogwarts year groups can't be that big. That is because most subjects are taken with one other house. This means that half a year group is together. It would be very improbable that more than 20 or so people could be taught in one class. This means the year group would be a maximum of fifty pupils.

    Kara reply: aaah getcha. I thought when you said 'large group of students', you meant at the school, not in the classroom.

    Edit: There's some stuff on Pottermore which backs up the school recently being home to a much larger number of pupils. Won't post here, obviously.
    Last edited by Karaley Dargen; 08-23-2011 at 06:03 AM.

  10. #10
    Jeannie
    Guest
    Is it possible that maybe there was once way more magical people in Great Britain? Like, because of a number of factors, the population is just all together slowing down? I'm thinking pure-blood inbreeding, personally.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •