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Thread: Founders Era: Hogwarts, Sorting Hat, and Slytherin.

  1. #11
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    Edit: This should be Post #12, after Tim's.

    Also, wouldn't the very uncertainty of the date of Hogwarts' founding suggest that the current castle dates from after the Founder's era?
    Then I wonder (as has Apollonius on the previous page) how Salazar Slytherin installed a secret chamber that you can access through one of the current castle's bathrooms...


    Gothic style is something that is very easily put on to existing buildings. If you have a look around some cities in Italy, for example, you'll se that a lot of them have had gargoyles and decorations in the marble attached. Something new came into fashion, the buildings didn't fit anymore, so they were altered rather than torn down and rebuilt. I can see the same thing happening with Hogwarts, especially since a bunch of Gargoyles would be so easy to attach when you have magic.
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  2. #12
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    You can pretty accurately date buildings by analyting layers of soot built up over centuries in fireplaces and any part of the castle built with timber, like the doors
    A Muggle might be able to do that, but wizards have different methods for everything and it's quite likely they don't have carbon-14 dating.

    Furthermore, Dumbledore said in HBP that all magic leaves traces, so there should also be reliable methods of dating magical edifices by studying these traces.
    But how would you sift through a thousand years of magical traces to find the very earliest magical trace? In a place like Hogwarts that's so full of magic it causes Muggle electronics to stop functioning, I doubt it would be as easy as you make it sound.

    And to be honest, it's ever so slightly possible that discoveries have been made since Binns died about when the Founders were around and he simply doesn't know because he doesn't bother to keep up to date. I imagine he's been giving the same lectures since before his death; I doubt if he keeps up to date with new research. And Binns really is our only source.

    Honestly, I wonder why no one bothered to ask the Sorting Hat, because it seems to me that it would know. So it's quite possible that this is one of the many vaguenesses we have to work around because canon doesn't make perfect sense all the time.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnabird View Post
    Also, I'm not sure where in the books Hogwarts is described as Gothic style. It's entirely probable that it's not at all Gothic in style, perhaps with some of the details Tim suggested, or perhaps with a style all the Founders' own.
    The books do not say that Hogwarts is built in the Gothic style, but the descriptions of the castle's gargoyles and big, tall windows create that impression.

    Also, wouldn't the very uncertainty of the date of Hogwarts' founding suggest that the current castle dates from after the Founder's era? You can pretty accurately date buildings by analyting layers of soot built up over centuries in fireplaces and any part of the castle built with timber, like the doors. Furthermore, Dumbledore said in HBP that all magic leaves traces, so there should also be reliable methods of dating magical edifices by studying these traces. So if the castle was indeed original, people in canon should have a much better understanding of when exactly Hogwarts was founded. The very fact that nobody, not even a professional historian like Bagshot, knows when Hogwarts was founded beyond a vague 1000+ years ago indicates that the current castle is not original, otherwise they could use the above methods to find a relatively accurate date.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollonious
    It's even possible that the style of Hogwarts inspired the Gothic style.
    How can the castle inspire the Gothic style if Muggles can't see it?

    Tim the Enchanter

  4. #14
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    Originally posted by Tim the Enchanter:

    How can the castle inspire the Gothic style if Muggles can't see it?
    Easy. A wizard goes to Hogwarts, develops an interest in architecture, decides the wizarding world isn't for him and works as an architect in a primarily Muggle setting. His old school inspires him.

    Also, as far as dating goes, I'm sure that if someone who knew archaic spells really well and could dig through centuries of them really wanted to, they could do so and eventually come upon the last shred of the last ghost of one of the first spells used to build or protect Hogwarts, and thereby determine the age of the castle. However, I don't think wizards care that much. They seem to be perfectly content with "a thousand years or more ago...". As long as Hogwarts is around, and they know the legend of how it was founded, the precise date is immaterial. Besides, who knows what effect such digging through the spells would have on the current spells protecting the castle? Seems like an awfully large risk for an academic exercise to find a date no one cares about.

    EDIT: This should be after Carole's post.


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  5. #15
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    How can the castle inspire the Gothic style if Muggles can't see it?
    Miuggles can see it, but it looks like a dangerous ruin to them complete with 'DANGER DO NOT ENTER' signs, so it's possible that Muggles have seen the ruin of a Gothic or otherwise castle in the distance and been inspired by it.

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  6. #16
    SilverBadger
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    A huge thanks to everyone who's replied, you've given me a lot to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by minnabird View Post
    Random question, but how do you think the Founders found students? How many do you think they had - do you think they started out teaching all magical people, or did that come later? (Hope this doesn't seem like I'm highjacking your thread but I'm writing FE too and this is a useful thread).
    I don't think they'd have very many to begin with. For one thing, I don't see them having a very large teaching staff, assuming they hire other teachers as the years pass. That would limit the number of students they can realistically teach. I have roughly 80 students attending Hogwarts in my notes for my fanfiction.

    I also think they would have taught all students with magical blood - otherwise why would Slytherin have made such a fuss about pure-bloods versus muggleborns?

  7. #17
    LittleJM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter View Post
    The very fact that nobody, not even a professional historian like Bagshot, knows when Hogwarts was founded beyond a vague 1000+ years ago indicates that the current castle is not original, otherwise they could use the above methods to find a relatively accurate date.
    This could be a clue that the castle could have been "built around" an original source. It could have been remodeled and expanded to fit the needs of the school as time went on - as with the pipes and other updates that it could have received. I'm sure those secret passages out to Hogsmeade weren't paved for the benefit of the Founders. Like with the bathroom question, Tom Riddle was a smart enough as a student to locate his own ancestry and the Chamber of Secrets, which means it is conceivable to say that it the opening in the bathroom could have been his own handiwork.

    Just food for thought, I suppose. It plugs up a few plot holes... Though, when it comes to the castle itself, there's too many to count.

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