In the BBC’s documentary, Harry Potter: a History of Magic, inspired by the exhibition at the British Library, JK Rowling revealed where the Deathly Hallows symbol came from. She believes her subconscious associated the symbol to a Masonic one, seen in the movie The Man Who Would Be King, inspired by the Rudyard Kipling’s book.

“The Masonic symbol is very important in that movie. It was literally 20 years later that I looked at the sign of the Deathly Hallows and realized how similar they are.”

The author said she watched the movie while drawing Professor Sprout. Although, at the same time, her mom was passing away. Rowling believes that’s why the night she watched the movie influenced both the symbol and the whole of Harry Potter’s story.

“So I feel as though I worked my way back over 20 years to that night, because the Potter series is hugely about loss, and – I’ve said this before – if my mother hadn’t died I think the stories would be utterly different and not what they are.”

Harry Potter: a History of Magic debuted on BBC last Saturday, October 28th. The homonym exhibition is at the British Library, in London, until February 28th, when it will head off to the US.

Translated by: Nuara Costa
Reviewed by: Caroline Calzolari