The myths behind the magic of ‘Azkaban’

One of the aspects we love about the “Harry Potter” series is J.K. Rowling’s sly use of mythological creatures and characters to help populate the world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Rowling’s fervent imagination supplies her stories with more than a few magical creatures of her own devising, but even the most imaginative writers have their sources, and we thought it might be fun to trace a few of the mythic antecedents of some of the monsters and magics you’ll encounter when the movie version of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” opens June 4.

Originally published on June 3, 2004. Read the complete article.

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